Last week we watched a recent documentary–Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make Believe.
Mr. Dressup. 10:30 a.m. every weekday of my childhood. Perhaps my favourite time of day.
Watching the documentary, I realized that I was not alone. Mr. Dressup had a significant impact on Canadians decade after decade. He was kind, gentle, creative–a kid at heart. There was a predictability to the show in all the best ways. During my viewing years, Casey and Finnegan were part of that predictability. Who doesn’t love a good sidekick afterall?
I loved to watch Mr. Dressup draw. To make crafts. To don a hat or a cape and become someone new. And even though he was ‘inside my tv’ somehow I felt that he cared about me. He cared about people. He cared about the world.
Last week during one of my PD sessions, a teacher asked about kids these days. Are they different than when I started teaching? Absolutely. How could they not be? They haven’t grown up on Mr. Dressup. All kidding aside, the students in our classrooms today are different. They are digital natives: they have never known a world without computers or the internet. Their childhoods are inherently different than the generations before them. I wonder how they would react to the slowness and simplicity of a show like Mr. Dressup.
Yes, our students are different. But if Mr. Dressup taught me anything, it’s that we love them all the same. We meet them where they’re at, without judgement. We do for them the best we know how.
Mr. Dressup, I leave the last words to you: “Keep your crayons sharp, your sticky tape untangled, and always put the top back on your markers.”