Walking the Labyrinth – Teachers’ Reflections(Paraphrased from Marjorie, Kristine, Alex and Steve)
In the fall of 2014, the TeleCommunity Students were introduced to the theme “Walking the Labyrinth.” They were asked to tell stories about a hero who must journey through a maze to reach a goal.
At first, most students were preoccupied with what kind of a maze they should make. Will it be made from bricks, or hedges, or dreams, or even rice?
Then, the different moods emerged. Some students focused on suspense – What will happen when the heroes reach the end? Others focused on a sense of confusion and frustration. Some focused on the journey, where heroes made steady progress until the end. A few played for comedy, writing parodies of classic heroes’ journeys.
In some ways, the stories about being lost and frustrated were more realistic. Stories where the heroes knew where to go and made steady progress seemed to be inspired by fiction and fantasy, while stories where the heroes wandered around lost seemed to be inspired by real-life feelings of frustration. In all of our lives, but especially the lives of children, getting lost and frustrated is often a necessary step in reaching a goal. Feelings of frustration are something students can emphasize with.
Even when the heroes succeeded, this was because the students wanted them to. As the authors of these stories, the students gave their hero characters certain skills or weapons, then built obstacles that could be vanquished by these skills and weapons. Students as authors tried to add suspense, but they already know how the story will play out because they had coded the solutions into the tale.