Day at the Beach

Day at the Beach

Day at the Beach




Yesterday I did something I don’t do that often… I had work to do, but I called it quits for the day at 2:30 and suggested to one of my kids that we go to the beach for the remainder of the day and whim and whimsy followed.


We started off with a bike ride and jog and that set the pace for a wonderful day – in part because I let my child pick the route time and again – I offered choices “should we stay by the water or go into this neighborhood,” but time and again the child was the driving agent of our next move and this led to rich discussions of the architecture, the structures we encountered, the lake shore, the built environment vs the natural world and more – and I couldn’t help but be reminded that in all good educational practice we need to give the students agency and from that riches will flow.


As we approached the waterfront, Frisbee in hand we found the temperatures sublime! The air was just slightly cooler than the water itself and this made playing in the water both enjoyable and relaxing. We played without a watch or a cell phone and we chatted and tossed, dove and splashed and I couldn’t help but think that all children need the unfettered attention of adults who are not in a rush to get to the next thing, but really able to focus on the child and the children who have just a little of this will flourish.


As our day came to end I couldn’t help but think that we need more beach days, not just for my family, but for all of us in our country. These days don’t have to happen at the beach – but for future success they do have to happen. For now, I recognize that these days happen once in awhile for me as a result of my tremendous privilege and I’m reminded of the responsibility to help think about ways to share that privilege and these beach moments with others.

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Brian S Collier, Ph.D.
107 Sandner Hall - Office 206M
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556