Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Why I Teach
"Sapere Aude" - Dare to Know -- Horace
As you know from our brief little biographical note which appears on the side of our blog, both J and L have broad and varied backgrounds which include years, yes, as hard as it is to admit, even decades now, in education. Between the two of us this background spans teaching preschool through university, including teaching teachers and serving in administration. What drives two relatively sane individuals to spend a combined total of perhaps fifty years in education, around children of all ages, while raising four children of their own? Well, perhaps we're not as sane as we think we are, or perhaps there is something about the pursuit of knowledge, about research and exploration, and about the ability to share that knowledge with others and the excitement of that pursuit which keeps us going.
And that's why I teach. And it's why we blog. It's why as we begin to think ever more seriously about retiring and face the twilight of our careers in public and private education, that we reach out for further exploration. Oh there have been, and no doubt will continue to be, incredible moments of discovery both in and out of the classroom. The greatest moments have always been when our students begin to look beyond the classroom, beyond the textbook, beyond us, and begin to think and do for themselves.
I have often told my students that I consider my role to be that of a facilitator. I am preparing them for the real world. That is why any real world experience we can provide our students which helps them in that respect, I believe is truly worthy. Children should be self-reflective, they should have goals, realistic dreams, and the tools they need to achieve those dreams.
Most recently, our students have been honored by several guest speakers who helped bring the real world into the classroom. A lovely young woman, whom I shall refer to as Miss Debbie, recently came to share and "train" our students how to work with elders who are afflicted with Alzheimer's. Service before self is another real-life skill. Dr. Beyer was asked to share his experience in Law Enforcement and answer questions about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And then there was our old pal, Tino, who with three days to go before filming another episode for Tales of the Fronties, came to share his wisdom and experience. His best advice to the students was not to give up on their dreams.
(click above to watch video)
It is moments like these that remind me why I teach. And though J and L will walk out of the classroom one day, we will continue to educate ourselves and share what we discover, our research and exploration with you. Thank you for coming along for the ride -- stick around -- it will only get better!