Why Learning Should Be Wacky and Wild, Explained by Ms. Frizzle

Ms. Frizzle waving from inside the magic school bus, saying "Seatbelts, everyone!"

The Magic School Bus / Giphy

Everyone has that one teacher who really rocked the boat when it came to classroom learning. You know. The one who came in excited about the lesson plan. The one who told your parents to get you a laptop and taught you about true love and literature at the same time. The one who high-fived you in the hallways and never pretended to be too mature to laugh at your high school humor. Those lessons stick with you well after graduation, and even if you’ve never said anything or friended each other on Facebook, that teacher changed your life.

For most ’90s kids, Ms. Frizzle was one of those. She was a trailblazer with red hair, and everyone wanted to be in her class. In her Scholastic book series and Discovery Kids show, she and her magic school bus took learning to a new level. She was fun, smart, unique, and down to explore a dinosaur’s stomach. This is what she taught us...

“Go on a field trip.”

Arnold saying "Please let this be a normal field trip."

The Magic School Bus / Giphy

Who doesn’t love a field trip? It’s an escape from the four walls of a classroom. It’s a way to bring your textbook’s tiny font and illustrations to life. Ms. Frizzle’s magic school bus morphed into whatever was necessary for the class’s wild excursions. In reality, though, applying your education to real life experiences is what makes learning fun. Continue your education outside of school whenever you can!

“If you keep asking questions, you’ll keep getting answers!”

It’s okay to ask questions—in fact, it’s great to ask—so keep on doing it! Everything we know has started with a question, and every specialist has become an expert by repeatedly asking, “What if?” If you keep asking, you’ll keep learning and you’ll never stop growing.

The Magic School Bus turning into a pizza

The Magic School Bus / Giphy

“Let’s get out there and explore!”

Learning doesn’t happen in the classroom alone; it happens all over and it sinks in most when it’s experienced out there in the world. Get outside, walk the path less traveled, uncover stones, and discover something new. The best lessons go hand in hand with fresh air!

“Let’s take a closer look.”

They say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and then they ask you to read chapters 1–50. But once you finish your tedious assignments, you aren’t done. Dive into everything that interests you. Unless you’ve learned all that you can about your favorite subjects, you don’t know much of anything at all.

“If you keep an open mind, you never know who might walk in!”

Closing yourself off from certain people or situations could mean closing yourself off from opportunities. Maybe there’s something more than what you think is there, but you’ll never find out unless you give it the chance to bloom.

Students learn lessons from Ms. Frizzle when they hop around Mars in outer space.

The Magic School Bus / Giphy

“To find a frog, be a frog.”

Sometimes, you just have to be a frog... or be whatever it is you’re trying to learn more about. It’s like taking a walk in someone else’s shoes so that you can understand a different perspective and have more empathy for other situations.

“Never say never.”

Leave room for unexpected surprises! Anything can happen, and it’s best to be ready for the unimaginable than to be taken off guard. Believe in yourself and never say never about your opportunities or abilities. Just take the whole word out of your vocabulary, and while you’re at it, get rid of “can’t” as well.

Ms. Frizzle winks at her iguana.

The Magic School Bus / Giphy

“Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!”

This was Ms. Frizzle’s signature line. There’s not a day that you shouldn’t take a risk, accept your mistakes, and let life get a little crazy! You’re human; that’s just how it goes. You make mistakes and then learn from them. Things get messy, but you can pick yourself back up and dust yourself off. And guess what. Next time, you’ll know better and be able to do better.

Go on, get out there, be a frog, and get messy!

About Katelyn Brush

Katelyn likes learning, good health, traveling, and pizza on Fridays. Her mixed education, composed of SUNY the College at Brockport, a semester at a community college, and one abroad at the University of Oxford, helped her earn a bachelor’s degree in English. College also gave her a few lessons in Taekwondo and sleeping in a hostel dorm with total strangers. She’s a yoga teacher, author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Signing Together: A Guide to American Sign Language for Everyone.” As a Student Caffé writer, she hopes to help you through the highs and lows of college with a laugh ... or 20.

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