I am writing this article on the morning of World Teachers’ Day: 5 October. It is interesting to reflect on how the role of the teacher has changed in our modern world. Traditionally, the teacher has been the imparter of knowledge and skills aimed at preparing the child for a place in an industrialised workplace. Numeracy and literacy were combined with general knowledge and scientific skills to become the basket of goods delivered by the teacher.
One of the presentations that our staff enjoyed at the beginning of the year was on “The Five Love Languages.” This concept, which was introduced by Gary Chapman as far back as the 1990’s, still has relevance for both teachers and parents today. The basic idea is that different people value different expressions of affirmation and love and that by identifying a particular individual’s love language, we are able to support them in a way that is particularly meaningful to them. While everyone does need each of the forms of appreciation, our tendency is to react most favourably to one or two of the Love Languages.
Education is as much about failure as it is about success. In order to achieve our goals we must suffer a degree of discomfort and we must “knock the bar down” before we jump over it. If this were not the case, our journey towards becoming better educated would simply be a rite of passage and we would not be able to take true pride in our achievements.
I have recently enjoyed reading a book by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith entitled “Most Likely to Succeed – Preparing our Kids for the Innovation Era.” The authors of the book, one from the education field and the other a leading venture capitalist, are calling for a revamp of the American education system. They argue that, as was shared by Greg Royce at the beginning of this year, traditional schooling was engineered more than a century ago to produce a workforce for a world and economy that no longer exists.