"No author has stuck with me throughout the years as much as Dr Seuss. He's the one author I will always go back to and still love the silly rhyming and even sillier names. As a child I loved the stories and there were always lessons to be learnt no matter how abstract at the time. When I read them again now, and yes I definitely do, I can see how many things Dr Seuss taught me! The stories and lessons still valid today as an adult if not more so than when I was younger.
I think you can all guess the story that I most relate to now.. ' oh the places you will go '. It is literally a guide to travelling. It encourages exploration and discovering new things, not staying with the same people all the time, going off the beaten path and forging your own. It expresses everything I feel about my plans next year. If you've never read it, do it now. stop reading this and find it! It's that good. Though you may end up doing what I did and quitting your job to go travelling!
But that's not the only one that has taught me something, with the Christmas season upon us how could I not mention 'the Grinch' so famous that grinch is now an actual word. Not the usual cartoon santa but an unappreciated, misunderstood main character. One who started off so nice and sweet but got chewed up by the world and turned into something else. With the love of one little girl he is saved. There are a lot of parallels here for me. I could name kids for days who are stereotyped naughty, a word I hate, but if you see where they come from and what they've dealt with in life, it's a miracle they're in school at all. Some of these kids are my favourite, if you can get through to them you can do so much good! Maybe not grow their hearts three sizes, but at least give them a chance to help themselves.
I think by far the most fun and well known book is ' green eggs and ham '. The amount of kids I've taught who have bulked at even trying something new! As one kid said today ' what's the point if I'm probably not going to get it right '. Because by definition probably means you still could! But this is tenuous at best, green eggs is the classic story of a kid not wanting to try new food. But it turns out that food is actually really nice. I could give you hundreds of metaphors here: don't judge a book by its cover, you'll never know if you don't try it.....but at the end of the day to me this book is about always taking the risk to try something, because out of a hundred things if one is amazing it's worth it.
A lesser known but still fantastically brilliant book is ' Horton ', a loveable giant, who spends a year sitting on an egg. He is the definition of perseverance. If we all had half a much perseverance as Horton we could accomplish anything. I wish I could take some of him at put it in every child I teach. If you don't give up, you can do anything. Even turn a bird egg into an elephant / bird hybrid!
A strange post I think we can all agree but rereading these books recently gave me a boost in these last few weeks of term and cheered me up endlessly. I may take one in to school just to read after a bad lesson.
I'll leave you with some of my favorite quotes from various books ( because you know how much I love a quote). Begrudgingly I've limited myself to my top ten, feel free to comment your favourite or any particularly relevant ones to us teachers.
1. “Kid, you’ll move mountains!”
2. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
3. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
4. “So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”
5. “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
6. “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!”
7. "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
8. "why fit in when you were born to stand out"
9. "I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!"
10. "be who you are and say what you mean. Because the mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"