This weekend I was fortunate enough to get to spend the day with my Godson and his brother. The plan for the day was going to the park, ice cream and Finding Dory! DEAL!
As the boys were eating their popcorn and laughing I couldn’t help but be truly moved by this movie. You see, Dory suffers from short term memory loss and struggles to stay focused. She repeats herself and asks the same questions repeatedly. Dory, however, is the sweetest, kindest fish in the sea. She doesn’t let life get her down - she just keeps swimming.
Dory’s friend Hank refers to himself as a “septopus”. Hank, an octopus, lost one of his tentacles, but that doesn’t stop him. He is just as strong and competent as his eight-legged friends! He may be a grumpy guy, but his heart of gold helps and encourages Dory.
Then there’s Nemo, who was born with a deformed flapper, but swims and swims as fast as he can! He definitely doesn’t allow this to stop him or halt his joy of life.
I love that a movie can so openly celebrate both cognitive and physical differences! Finding Dory’s characters are viewed as everyone else in the sea - their differences are seen as strengths. The movie also has a huge focus on friendship and how friends can be your family.
As educators, are we seeing all the strengths in our students and colleagues or are we just seeing what is on the outside? Are we asking questions? Are we engaging in conversations?
Are we making our staff our family?