“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious.
Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead.
Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality.
It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
~ Susan Sontag
After nearly twenty years in one kind of classroom or another, through my experiences as a Churchill Fellow in America with amazing thought leaders, by exploring what is meant by being an Apple Distinguished Educator, upskilling as an instructional designer and now reflecting on what it means to be a .be mindfulness trainer (more on that to come), I have come to understand in my painfully slow way what my personal philosophy of education is. I call it Interconnect.ed.
As an educator I see my role as being one that encourages children and young people to connect more deeply to eight key aspects of life.
Interconnect.ed is concerned with
1. Connecting to self
By encouraging space to relax, reflect and take responsibility for their actions, children develop an awareness of identity and make contact with their own burgeoning core values. Mindfulness is key to forging this connection.
2. Connecting to others
I create a community based in compassion. By allowing students to learn cooperatively more is addressed than merely content and subject specific skills. Our increasingly interconnected world is both supported and threatened by emerging technologies. I encourage the creation of safe and supportive online environments.
3. Connecting to ideas
Ideologies shape the way in which we see the world. I encourage young people to appreciate multiple perspectives and be informed. I help students think clearly, logically, critically and creatively amidst a world brimming with ideas.
4. Connecting to issues
Reflected in curriculum documents are key issues that face each of us everyday. Whatever the scale and scope of these issues – whether local or global, environmental or political – I am there to help shine the light on the details.
5. Connecting to problems
Some problems are opportunities to tinker, invent and test. Having a positive attitude that helps us turn towards problems and difficulties rather than run away, builds resilience, persistence and an essential sense of perspective.
6. Connecting to solutions
Problems open one up to trialling possible solutions. When children believe that their ideas matter, it generates engagement and agency. By critically appraising previous solutions we can learn to innovate.
7. Connecting to mysteries
There is much that cannot be easily explained. Mysteries ignite imagination. Curiosities of science and spirituality evoke wonder and expand our horizons.
8. Connecting to truths
Truths can be shared or unique; personal or public. Communicated or secret. Encouraging students to see the results when truths interact, is an important way to help children see their own.
Are you an Interconnect.ed teacher too?