I love this quote by Theodore Roosevelt because it reminds me of my classroom. Parents have entrusted me with their children. May I always remember each one is SPECIAL.
If you poll the typical “teacher on the street,” this is what would he or she would say about why he/she entered education:
“I want to make a difference in children.”
“I want to ignite the spark of curiosity in children and help them discover their potential.”
“I want to share my passion for the love of learning.”
Obvious as these statements sound, most public school teachers would scoff at such statements after a year of “duty.” In fact, I used to be ridiculed for my idealist attitude when I entered the world of education eight years ago after many years in the corporate world. Sadly, I soon discovered that if I was going to make it in the system, I had to succumb to the checklist of standards which were to be tested biweekly to prepare for the Super Bowl of tests. School became a football season with the culminating AIMS event in April. Unfortunately the administration’s hands were tied because they answered to the state, and the government paid the bills. Yes, it was the scores which kept the state happy; not whether children were learning, growing, or becoming responsible, kind, resourceful citizens. The system has sacrificed our artistic, unique, creative youths simultaneously zapping our passionate, innovative and learned teachers. We’ve morphed into a test-taking, dumbed-down culture, virtually ignoring the right brain of the child, and disregarding anything below the neck.
Enter Tesseract. I’ll never forget the first day I walked into this “fourth” dimension-Definitely a square (cubed) peg not WANTING to fit into the round hole of normal schooling. The posted mission statement was not just talk…it was the WALK!
1. Fostering EACH student’s intellect, love of learning, and strength of character? What? I can form a RELATIONSHIP with a child one at a time, finding something special about him/her, and foster it!? Unheard of in a class size of 40 students x 5 classes.
2. An innovative and collaborative environment? What? I work closely with the educators during the day, and the professional development is all about enhancing our connectedness in and out of the classroom? The WHOLE child is taught, and I am a COG in the wheel of learning vs a separate compartment. The students make connections with the curriculum so it makes SENSE to them.
3. Prepare students to be REAL people; To lead a life of purpose and with character and to see the world as a whole? What? I can encourage, equip, and inspire children to TRULY make a difference in their world, as I make a difference in their lives? Who has time to invest this energy or time into the children in public school when the teachers are frantically trying to practice test and increase their scores? The pressure adds up, so this doesn’t happen in the public schools.
Proudly and with honor, now I can truly say, I’m walking the talk of what education should be about and my “idealism” is realized.