As noted by Physicist Albert Einstein in the quote above, we inherently figure out that we exist for others. Spouses exist for one another. Parents exist for children. Children exist for parents. And as educators, we exist for learners. Since our existence for others is a given fact that should be concluded by reasonable folks, the only variable becomes the nature of our relationship to those others for whom we are existing. Do we exist to control, manipulate, dominate, or rule over others? Or do we exist to share, serve, and sacrifice for others? It seems to me the aftertaste of one's education depends upon whether they were shepherded or merely herded; nurtured or merely driven to market.
Education is the right and privilege of every creature to learn and develop within their culture, the knowledge and skills needed to carry on when former generations have passed.
It is the responsibility of each generation to determine what values will be passed on to succeeding generations, and to build the platforms necessary for the learning of those values.
It is the responsibility of every citizen to submit to the tutelage of the educators placed before them in order to understand, assimilate and articulate to others, those values deemed worthy to be passed on.
The Four Pillars of My Education Beliefs
1. We begin with the end in view. When we know where we want to go, we can lead our students to the goal. When we are uncertain, we can lead by example, to explore the possibilities. Standing upon the shoulders of history, and equipped with a critical mind for discerning the possibilities and pitfalls before us, we can forge a path into a dense future while visionizing our students to press on.
2. We consider the means by which we must reach the end. Because we know the price others have paid; the risks they have taken, we can lead our students successfully as they explore their own personal maze of existence and discover what they must be and do and the tough choices they must face to avoid living a senseless contradiction. The tools we use are yesterday's experiences, today's innovations, and tomorrow's challenges.
3. We know how far we must go and how it will take a lifetime before we arrive at our destiny. Because we understand the endurance needed to complete the journey, we reinforce in our students those values required for a strong finish, regardless of how many times they may stumble along the way.
4. Finally, we know why. Therefore we are committed to the process and overcome the obstacles. Leading by example, we become patterns in which our students are shaped to face their own unknown future with its certain destiny. The "why" is our passion for what we do; the driving force behind our commitment to excellence.
Based on these four pillars above, my pedagogical approach is to lead by example with an explorer's attitude to help students navigate an uncertain future by learning from the past (History) and training their mind (critical thinking) in order to make the best possible choices that lay in their path.
Just as every explorer in our past used the technologies at their disposal, so too we will use whatever technologies are in our hands, be they text books or computers, and incorporate them into our learning about those who went before, those who accompany us now, and those we must aid in the future.
We are human 'beings' not human 'doings' so we place great emphasis on the type of person we are, our character, and our ethics. However, because we are judged on our doings, we recognize the import of our skills and strive to hone them to the highest degree of which we are capable.
This belief system recognizes our individual capacities to learn, our corporate responsibilities to collaborate and cooperate in a global society, and our inherent freedom to make personal, consequential choices. As Dr. Seuss once quipped, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Yes, today you are you. But tomorrow you will be you PLUS your experiences of today. Therefore, every day holds an exciting discovery for each of us and all of us.