Listen to the Kids
Every semester, I attend UGA’s graduation, to enjoy the selfish pleasure of watching my students cross the stage and shake President Adams’ hand.
There’s always an eminent personality on hand to give the graduation address. Last Saturday, the speaker was Maxine Clark, a distinguished alum. She is the highly successful entrepreneur who invented the Build-a-Bear Workshop® empire.
For me, her most important statement had to do with listening to kids. She described how her adult friends and colleagues discouraged her bear ideas. A ten-year-old girl, however, wanted to know where she could go to make a bear right now. Other children had similar reactions.
We sometimes forget to listen to what the kids have to say. We worry all the time about getting teachers to collaborate with media specialists, and to get parents involved. If kids were asked their opinions, how would they want the library to be arranged and programmed? It’s not always what we think.
Food for thought! I wish you all luck as the school year gets underway.
Mary Ann Fitzgerald, University of Georgia