“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”
Recently a friend of mine told me she had roasted her own coffee. Immediately, I was going to try it myself. As an avid and committed coffee drinker, I love the process of making coffee. Oh by how I love the smells that waff through the house when I grind the beans – can a cup of coffee exist without it? I can’t wait to roast my own beans – to smell the roast!
It is the mindful process that makes my morning cup of joe so magical. Likewise, it is the mindful process of learning that gives education it’s power. Currently, we are in a culture of teaching to the test. Schools scurry to meet minimum measures and to avoid being put on the at risk lists. Each year, NCLB raises the bar and the pressure to teach to the test increases. The process of learning is going out the door as we welcome the latest and newest methods of skill and drill.
I can’t help but think of how it feels when I buy a cup of coffee at a fast food restuarant. It is insulting to my tongue. I can’t bear to consume another sip. The disregard for what it takes to produce a vibrant cup of coffee is evident in the end product.
We are in a period of time that we are disregarding what it takes to produce educated well rounded human beings. We are disregarding why we teach in the first place. We are in crisis.
I love tea as well. Yesterday I made a tangerine green tea. I purchased organic tangerines and hand pressed the juices. I stirred and mixed my special blend in french glass bottles. Just looking at the end results makes me feel more alive. The taste of the tea is vibrant.
I am committed to delivering an education that is vibrant and full bodied. There is a process and a developmentally appropriate sequence to the education of the young child. Let us not produce the “fast-food” kind of education. The real power of education is in the process not in the end results – for if a child “gets” the process of learning – the whole world is theirs. Anything is possible in life.