An education should be completely centered around a students individual development mentally, physically, and spiritually. Learning should be organic, hands-on and focused on each student’s unique interests, goals, strengths, ability, and needs. These opportunities must be facilitated by a team of knowledgeable, caring mentors, but ultimately controlled and driven by the student.
I believe every single student naturally desires to grow and learn. The job of an educator is primarily to coordinate, organize, and seek out opportunities for students. An adult caregiver has the responsibility to wisely establish loving boundaries for a child, but does need to infiltrate every learning moment directly. It can be challenging to step back from the familiar, traditional methods of instruction. However, it is the key to giving students a rich, meaningful, long-lasting education. Parental involvement is critical, but as partners in this learning process rather than as dictators or even directors.
Additionally, I support students learning the tools, skills, and character qualities to become life-long learners with as much independence as possible. As teachers, parents, guardians, mentors we cannot give our students the content needed for every path they may wish to take in their future. It is not possible to fully prepare a student with the concrete knowledge needed to face a highly diverse, ever-changing world. However, we can and should gift our students with a strong foundation of knowledge paired with the confidence and skills to grow, adapt, and continually learn so they can succeed. Students learn these skills best through play and real life experiences.
Finally, I strongly believe in educating the whole child: mind-body-spirit. A student with a healthy mind, body, and spirit-as much as possible- is better equipped to learn and thrive. While spiritual growth does not have to include religion, it is important for students to look beyond themselves and learn the responsibility of caring for others. Students must learn how to care for and grow their bodies through both movement and nutrition. To keep their minds healthy and strong, a student must learn academic, social, and emotional skills and concepts. Education should fully encompass and equally attend to the mind, body, and spirit as well as the connection between the three.