My Son Wants to Build a Rollercoaster

It was a beautiful Saturday.  Danny comes running into the house to discuss where we keep the wood.  I do what every good mother does ask why.  Come to find out that he wants to build a roller coaster and big enough for him to ride on.  My knee jerk reaction was “No, you’ll hurt yourself.”  I luckily controlled that urge, leaned it, and asked more questions.  I then did what every good parent does.  I asked him to draw his plan and he did.


Here he lists the materials and the order. We do need to various colors of paint and wires.

He also included an area to take photos during the ride.  He throughly thought through this and believes that this is do-able.  So I did what my parents did-suggest what that we get a book from the library about roller coasters.  Of course, I went so 20th century on him.  Then a day later, I realized that we have the internet to solve that problem.  YouTube, here we come!  Lesser known fact there are tons of videos backyard rollercoasters and a wide-variety of ways to build one.  Danny & I realized in order to build one of these PVC coasters, we need to up our game.  So we are starting small.  A bird house maybe built soon.  Don’t worry the rollercoaster will get built.

As I reflect on this weekend’s experience, I thought of the young new teacher who is eager to try something new.   How often do we throw water on that teacher’s idea?  We don’t do this out malice.  Instead we do it to out of kindness.  We don’t want them to go through that headache.   Our experience tells us what works and doesn’t work.

We need to remember sometimes others have to figure it out.   A mentor teacher explained it to me this way when working with a new teacher is just like teaching drivers ed.  They won’t learn to avoid the curb if you are always correcting the car yourself.  A little curb check doesn’t hurt anyone.

What if instead of automatically saying no, we lean and ask why and how?  This week it has led to some great moments with my son.  Imagine the great moments that can happen in the classroom if we use that same approach.


One thought on “My Son Wants to Build a Rollercoaster

  1. BethCTech says:

    Love your risk taking! I know a lot of experienced teachers who trot out the “it’s always done that way” comments, and that drives me crazy. Pics of the bird houses, please!


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