The One with Some Thoughts on Education

MC at MHS. Happy place of the past meets happy place of the present.

The past few weeks I’ve been seeing my colleague Fatch more often than usual and it is wonderful. She was the NC Teacher of the Year for 2010-2011, a fellow Meredith alum, and also how I got my wonderful job. She was teaching at MHS and put in a few good words for me to the principal and that, I’m pretty certain, is how I got my dream job (to which I will officially be returning to next year, contract is all signed!). Anywho, this lady is a thinker, and I just love it. She is always tweeting and posting these deep, profound, thought-provoking quotes online and I love to ponder them.

This most recent one is pretty much my philosophy of education in someone else’s very concise words:

“All genuine learning is active, not passive. It involves the use of the mind, not just the memory.” 

M. Adler

Yes. Just, yes. Everything I attribute to my life in its current place, everything I’ve learned, I have learned by doing. Such a simple, no-brainer concept. We do, we learn. We live, we learn. Yet, we still have so many teachers sitting in a classroom, dictating notes, expecting the students to just learn the material and teach it to themselves. We, as educators, must create an environment, create the boundaries, create the stage for students to create, for students to do, for students to really learn

This is what I try to do. Every concept we cover in Spanish, I try to make it something that they do. Instead of just memorizing house vocabulary, we build a house and make a MTV Cribs style video, telling people where the things are in our house. Instead of memorizing clothes vocabulary and drilling notes on the present progressive tense, we have a fashion show and tell what other people are wearing. Instead of flash card after flash card, although effective for memorization of some things, I want to create memorable learning opportunities that are each an individualized experience that is engrained in my students’ memory. That, is what I want to do. I have so far to go as an educator! 

Some of my fellow beginning teachers and I were discussing the end of our first year, and someone made the comment “one down, twenty-nine to go!”. This is so scary to me. Only 29 more tries at getting it right! That sounds like a lot, but if they go by as quickly as this first year did… I’ll probably be blogging about “twenty nine down, one to go!” sometime next week… 

(Please ignore that this is my 666th blogpost. Didn’t notice? Okay, nevermind.)

School’s pretty much out for summer! Now commences relaxing, recharging, and getting ready for all the fun things to come. So many weddings, babies, and new jobs to celebrate, and I cannot wait. 

What a sweet life this is. 

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