There’s something about Thanksgiving that’s very satisfying. Partly it’s the food, especially if you’ve spent days in preparation to make it just so, but mostly it’s being surrounded by family and/or friends and enjoying the food with them. I couldn’t imagine a Thanksgiving in which I was completely alone; even if I was surrounded by the best food in the world it would ultimately be incredibly unsatisfying to me.
Of course the misplaced focus on the Turkey and its trimmings doesn’t just happen to a well known holiday like Thanksgiving Day. Same thing seems to happen with other parts of our lives as well, schools for example. Too much focus gets placed on the Turkey (content, testing, standards), not enough focus on what’s really important and ultimately makes the learning experience satisfying (learning to learn with others, sharing and collaborating, inquiry and creation).
If what we love about Thanksgiving, and what makes it something we cherish and want to relive every year isn’t the Turkey but sitting at the table and being surrounded by guests and good conversations, than maybe what we love about schools,and what we hope still makes them a worthwhile part of our lives, is something surprisingly similar.