Teaching is an art.
But it’s an absolutely tremendous and an astonishingly beautiful art. You see, an artist has spent years committed to developing their extraordinary talents and skills. The great teacher is secretly driven by a simple love of community and belief in humanity. She completely pours her heart into the craft. But most people don’t notice this nuance, and that’s ok.
What’s not ok is that tragically, the art of teaching has been bastardized, which has the effect of shortchanging our kids! Meanwhile, a few corporate giants are getting richer and richer behind the scenes at the expense of our children, as they fall further and further behind. We complicate teaching by perpetuating myths of how education should be done. But we don’t even see the machine that drives our dependence on broken testing practices, boring textbooks, mind-numbing curriculum, and corrupt & unqualified decision makers.
But what about the “artist teacher”? What is her intention?
A great teacher uses her art to do one thing – intentionally craft meaningful and powerful learning experiences for her students. (Unfortunately, our system doesn’t support our teachers to do this. Instead, it tells teachers what to teach and how to teach it. Consequently, students are taught what to learn, but not how to learn.)
Why does this artist craft these experiences?
So her students can learn to craft their own future, one which is aligned with their personal strengths, interests, values, gifts, talents and needs.
So they can live with integrity, authenticity, confidence and self-esteem.
So they can grow up to do work that matters to them, that contributes to their communities, that harnesses their strengths effectively.
And most importantly, yet often overlooked, the artist crafts learning experiences so our children can grow up to have rich, meaningful, healthy relationships with family and friends. That’s what it’s really all about- it’s about people.
We continue to muddy the waters with crazy testing, lame textbooks, boring curriculum, unqualified decision makers. And we are blind to it.
No, teaching isn’t rocket science. We don’t need the invisible powers that be to tell teachers how to meet the needs of their students and to scrutinize their every move with data, data, data. We are dealing with human beings here, not numbers.
If we truly support and empower teachers as professional artists, and help them build upon their strengths in order to better serve their students, we’ll do a much better job of empowering our kids to craft better futures.
Isn’t that the point? How do we change it?
Please SHARE. Or comment below with your thoughts! Thanks!