This week we are asking the question “How can teachers have a bigger influence on education reformation?” During the week we have seen different ways this question can be answered.
Casey on Wednesday reminded us we need to “Promote Reform and Yourself Without Censorship…” I agree whole heartily to Casey’s statement. I want to add, you should not just promote reform, but you should put your ideals and ideas for the right kind of education down on paper “without censorship”. When your ideals and thoughts are down on paper you can read them as a whole, you can reflect on what they really mean and why you believe in them.
I strive for a day when the very act of putting down on paper your ideals of education is normal. I strive for a day when all teachers approach teaching as an art, as a reflective practice of growth. Crafting your own ideals and philosophies of education can be the first step in creating real and meaningful transformation in the world. I strive for a day when teachers see themselves as philosophers and look within to find truth. I strive for a day when learning how to teach is not learned from textbooks and college courses, but is an active practice of reflection and sharing of one’s life.
When this day comes we must remember that having strong personal ideals is merely the a first step. They mean nothing if they remain on the page or inside your head. They must be put into practice, they must be alive and actively expanded on and continued to be redefined. They must be held onto like one hold on to sand, the tighter you hold on the easier they will fall. They must be allowed to fall if they do not work or are useful. They must be consistently assess for their pragmatic usefulness. They should be there to help you and your students grow and learn.
They should never be fought for with violence or anger. We must embody the power of these words, but let go of the authority or need to use them to change someones mind. Let you actions prove their usefulness and worth. Learn these words, remember them, but enter the classroom with new eyes every day for you never know what you might miss if your eyes are clouded by ideals. Do not let them be gimmicks. They are not tag-lines or designed for neat placement on a poster. They should not be followed blindly. They should become a way of life and your life will become the way of change and the real reform. The first step in being proactive in a revolution is to craft a personal creed.
Hopefully my words can spark a few of your own. Today I would like to offer my philosophy and creed in progress, these are words I hold dear. Thank you and please go forth and do as Casey said “Promote reform and Yourself without censorship”
Constructing My Own Meaning.
Teaching is the art of process and progress. As a teacher, I see my role as helping student to construction their own meaning of the world both as a living learning community and an individual. The elementary grades formed the foundation of this building of meaningful construction. During these important years of development my students and I will explore the world and the ways in which society currently and in the past have dealt with the process of constructing and communicating their meaning.
We will investigate and explore the excellence and genius that manifest itself in the multicultural disciplines of the world. We will ask questions about the essence of the disciplines and reflect upon our understanding of them. We will participate and uncover the holistic ways in which these disciplines have informed and given meaning to our world and ourselves.
We will be a democratic learning cooperative, who meet in a classroom, but understand that learning happens in all places and at all times.
We will understand that the process of learning is not linear, nor does it fit inside a box.
We will respect and trust the different ways in which each other learn.
We will look to primary sources for our knowledge and seek understanding over coverage.
We will trust and respect the understanding that comes from within ourselves.
I will continue to actively promote the formations of the right kind of education and life. I will promote the formations of teachers of change and learners of life.
I will do and I will be the be.
You can read my much longer and continuing to grow creed on my blog http://myadventuresinlearning.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-formations-of-the-right-kind-of-education-and-life/