Transformation doesn't happen by what you say, it happens by what you do.
To connect with people on a meaningful and sincere manner so that I may learn, and help others learn. Leading with love and compassion, not only connects people, it teaches by example how to return love and compassion to the world.
Education is essential for growth on both a global scale right down to our local communities. If one is not educated, they are destined to make the mistakes of our past and to be manipulated by those with knowledge than us. How does one get children to learn all the things that are important to growth? I am a true believer in connection with the whole person before the mind will open to new ideas. Minds are opened through two ways. Fear of consequence and relationships. As the old saying goes, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. Relationships are the key to educations and the importance of relationships augments with the age of the student.
When I think back on my education, the people who had the most influence on my learning were those whom I perceived as caring, interested in me, and I felt were personally invested in me. I try to emulate those characteristics with my own students. I also recognize that kids come to us with their best. For some, that is not a lot but it is all they have. They are loved deeply by their parent(s), who also want the best for their child. I treat the children I teach how I would like teachers to treat my own kids.
Early on in my career, someone compared children to bank accounts and made the analogy that you cannot withdraw from them before making a deposit. Those deposits came in the ways of conversations outside of the class about life, their interests and hobbies, and their families for example. As a teacher, one can fake this kind of interest but to genuinely interested, makes not only the student more engaged, but the teacher more invested in their class.
Once you have established a relationship with the student, it is easier to teach them. There will be times when they will not want to learn what you are teacher but will comply and learn based on the relationship you have with them. They will not want to let you down, and will trust you, knowing that you are always looking out for their best interests.
Children should be taught how the natural world works, math, history, and critical literacy skills. Once they have a working knowledge, they should start exploring through problem based projects which is led by students’ interests and passions.
During the industrial age, we prepared students for assembly lines and factory jobs shaped our educational system. Although I do believe that children should be taught enough about the natural world, history, to read critically, and be able to calculate basic math, I also believe that once students have a base foundation, they can expand and explore topics that are more interesting to them. To do so too early would be detrimental to society. I see how common it is for people to not understand the basics of the natural work and are taken advantage of by others. For example: People who believe the world is flat or that by eating an alkaline diet will affect your body pH level. People who have little to knowledge of the human body or chemistry are dying of cancer because some snake-oil seller has convinced them that eating lemons is somehow better than chemo or that a drinking bleach will cure autism.
Being able to hold an intelligent conversation about life, politics, nature, or something requiring calculation, should be a universal skill for children as they approach adulthood. Once they have a base, exploration of ideas and topics should be explored through an existentialism system. Currently, our system is like this until about grade 11. I think that this split should happen sooner, in grade 8 or 9. That is when I see that children start losing interest in school. We should be investing in more optional/complementary courses to expose kids to more to kindle these fires.
Passion without (correct) knowledge is dangerous. So before we send out kinds down an open hill to explore, we need to teach them the basic fundamentals of how that hill works and how to navigate predictable dangers as well as unforeseen bumps in on the path. They need base knowledge to be able to think critically and question media, companies and other outlets that are going to try to sway them.
Connect with the heart, to gain access to head. Teach then the head so when released to the heart, it will rest on a rational and logical foundation.