For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent post I wrote for Care2.com, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from What the Teachers Are Themselves:
“There’s a couplet by Rudyard Kipling that shines a sometimes too bright light on one of the biggest truths we educators must confront:
No printed word, nor spoken plea can teach young minds what they should be.
Not all the books on all the shelves – but what the teachers are themselves.
Mahatma Gandhi said something similar when asked by a reporter, “What is your message?” and he replied that his life was his message.
And my wise friend and the director of the Institute for Humane Education’s graduate programs, Mary Pat Champeau, has always reminded me that in our role as parents, nothing matters more than modeling the behaviors we hope to cultivate in our children. (In other words, we must not yell at our children to stop yelling.)
… There are few professions in which being a truly great human being and embodying the best qualities of humanity (compassion, wisdom, kindness, curiosity, generosity, courage, perseverance and so on) is part of the job description, but teaching is one of them.”