August 1, 2006

As far as education goes…

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:43 am by mrsmauck

I wrote a press release today about the Youth Leadership Summit my two boys (I can’t help but think of them as my students now–this relationship that feels somewhere in between that of a mother and son and a boss and employee) attended in D.C. last week while I was in (and out of) the adult conference.

I loved this quote one of the boys e-mailed me for the story: “As far as education goes, we don’t get enough of it we need more we want more (even if we don’t know it).” True, this boy is definitely an excellent student, but what a powerful message to us teachers, future and present! This boy is a leader in his school, and he speaks on behalf of his fellow students when he says they need and want more education. I doubt he means more information, more knowledge; he wants greater depth of knowledge, and more responsibility for his own education. The conference he attended gave 30 students the task of creating a report about problems students face today in preparing for college success, and then proposing solutions. These kids worked almost nonstop for three days preparing this report and the dramatic, poetic, powerful presentation that accompanied it. They presented their report to a conference of 1,800 education professionals–how powerful is that? These kids weren’t working for a grade; they were working to get their voices heard, to articulate a message they felt was important.

How can I engage my students on this level in the future? I think of supreme importance is showing the real-world connection to each assignment and reading. This is a key component of Fried’s Passionate Teacher. Presentations that are made public in some way, stories that we must learn from still today (Elie Wiesel’s Night comes to mind), and group work that demands a high level of cooperation and passion from each participant–all these are essential in helping the learners become passionate.

Teachers, please remember the words of this student: although he is one, he represents many: they are hungry for education. They need it; they even want it. Arm them with the skills they need to face this world confidently, cooperatively, and creatively.

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2 Comments »

  1. W Brown said,

    That was an insightful quote from your “student” Thanks for sharing.

    I teach in a small NYC High School in NYC.

    I would love for you and your readers to join our conversation at http://www.monticohort1.blogspot.com

  2. Anonymous said,

    Thanks for linking my site! I hope you have a great year teaching. If you need to vent or just want to share something, stop by. Ciao!

    Brian
    The Teachers Lounge


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