The character of Frodo Baggins can teach us many things. He can teach us the value of perseverance. He can teach us the value of a best friend. He can teach us that one facial expression is enough for some blockbuster movies. He can teach us why we shouldn’t wear the ring.
As LOTR fans will know, the ring symbolises power, and the little Hobbit’s true strength lay in resisting the urge to use too much power too often.
For the teacher of self-directed learners, strength also lies in resisting the use of power. I am a fan of direct teaching when it is needed. However, as children grow in their ability to direct their own learning, it is really beginning to amaze me how much more they achieve if I hold back as a teacher. This is particularly true in terms of giving feedback. If I ask the right questions to facilitate rather than direct their reflective process, what children can come up with just amazes me. They give themselves easily 90% of the feedback they need, and their commitment to using that feedback is huge, because they have generated it themselves and believe wholeheartedly in its worth.
So, Frodo, don’t wear the ring!!!