Tuesday, September 30, 2008


There's this teacher I know... and sometimes she can't help pushing her own agenda in the classroom.

So yesterday, when her students started asking her about why she rides her bike to work every day, it was too much. She really owed it to them to answer that question well, didn't she?

Today, at morning circle time, the class talked about why it's a good idea not to drive a car too much. They had some ideas about why cars are better than bikes:
  • You are more likely to get lost on a bike. (?)
  • You are more likely to get wet when it rains on a bike. (Okay, that one's true.)
But they also had ideas about why driving a car isn't such a good idea:
  • It might take longer.
  • You might run out of gas. (This one meant you yourself might run out of gas in your car, not that the whole world might run out of gas. I left that for another day.)
  • Gas costs a lot of money.
  • Cars put pollution into the air. "Gas isn't good for the trees" was actually the way it was said.
And, they thought they knew why I like to bike to work: it gives me big leg muscles, they said.

Then that teacher, who just couldn't stop herself, did a quick little lesson on global warming, and how pollution makes the earth warmer. A very basic little overview that included the earth putting more layers on, kind of like extra shirts or coats, as pollution builds up in the atmosphere. She mentioned how the earth getting warmer leads to things like hurricanes, and isn't good for plants or trees or animals or anything alive, really.

They asked if this was fiction or non-fiction. Which some grown-ups still wonder, apparently.

They made a list of ways they could get around without driving a car:
  • ride a bike
  • walk
  • wear heelys
  • ride a motorcycle
  • take the train
  • take a bus (They noted that black smoke comes out of buses, but we talked about how they use less gas than cars, on average. Kind of hard to understand.)
  • ride a skateboard
  • use a scooter
  • use a wheelchair (These kids are not ableists!)
  • use roller skates
  • drive a 4-wheeler (not being an expert in such vehicles, I wasn't really sure about this one. Can you drive a 4-wheeler around the city? Is it fuel-efficient? It sure is popular with the boys...)
We forgot skis and snowshoes.

1 comment:

  1. To your last question - not legally, they're not very efficient, and have horrendous emissions (since they're intended for off-highway use, they don't have to meet high emissions standars)