Sunday, March 12, 2006

Philosophy of Education

I did not originally enter college with the intent of becoming a teacher. At eighteen, I knew I wanted to influence the world around me, but had yet to find the niche for me. I had intended on becoming a Youth Pastor in the denomination I grew up in. Oddly, much of what I did in that track prepared me for becoming a teacher.
As I sat in church today, the pastor discussed what a mature church looks like, united, not given to trendy teachings, each doing their work (Ephesians 4:11-16). Instead of hearing these words in relation to the church, I found myself thinking instead about the school.
Inside the world of Education, some are given the skills to be administrators, some to be leaders, some to promote reform, and some to be teachers, to prepare our students for integration in our society, as laborers or executives, so that our humanity might be built up until we, as a society, are mature and attaining what truly great societies should achieve.
Once we as educators understand this, we will "no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every" eucational fad or catchphrase that comes along. And at this point, the world of education is quite willing to follow whatever fad comes along. We are not mature as a group. We are not united.

Ultimately, we must learn to work together for that one cause. When the purpose of education becomes merely outperforming the world in Math and Science, I believe we will fail. We will fail because we will have forgotten the whole person. We will have neglected the importance of compassion, understanding, honesty, and diligence. We will have failed because we will not have valued the individual as a part of the whole.
But before we can achieve success as a system, we must learn to value the important roles that we all play. The reality of incompetence aside, we must do our part while believing in the others around us. The teachers must believe in their administrators who must in turn believe in the teachers. The school must believe in the district who must in turn believe inthe school. At the moment, too many of us don't believe in the people around us, creating a system that is broken.


At 6:52 PM , Blogger Strausser said...

Wondefully said. I actually graduated with a double business major and spent the better part of a decade in the high tech industry before I realized that I was never really happy with it even though I was rather successful.

It was not until my last lay off (3 of the last 4 companies I worked for do not exist anymore) that I realized I should shift gears and then there was no other thought in my head besides teaching. I am only in my 2nd full year and I have never been happier a day in my life.

The way I look at it, is that I am not teaching science to 8th graders - I am actually teaching them how to LEARN and I use science as my backdrop. I figure that EVERYTHING I cover in 8th grade is either going to be forgotten or recovered in high school but if I can make my students more effective learners, then their whole lives will open up before them.

Passion does not describe what I feel. It is not a job, it is a vocation. Yes I have the hardest class at my school but I know I will make a difference for many of my students and they WILL be ready for high school.

Great blog....



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