The constant theme for my yesterday, all day was this: Teaching is about people.
One of the "big questions" of my degree has been "what is education for?" You know, I thought I could answer that question until I took the philosophy subject for my course. I loved the unit coordinator but that question turned everything I thought I knew upside down in my head. I have told the UC he has a lot to answer for in the scrambling of my brain! He is still one of my favourite UC's because who could have bad feelings towards a man who begins every lecture with "I hope you have your cup of tea by your side....". There, my friends, is a good reason to study online! A cup of tea and a comfy chair while your brain is turned inside out.One of my fellow students responded to the question "what is education for?" this week, in reference to one of the readings we could choose from, with the simple and beautiful beginning point that education is about people. Of course you can go all kinds of ways from that start, but for me that focused in on the important thing. Education is for the gorgeous, precious little people (they are little in Primary school!) who bound into our classrooms each morning with untethered enthusiasm. It is for the children who come to school escaping from whatever is going on at home. It is for the children who need their teacher to be the one person in their life who believes in them and encourages them to be the best person they can be; the person God created them to be.
The VCE Coordinator at Our School took our staff devotions yesterday and she reminded us of the power of our influence. As Christ's image bearers. As teachers who are Christ's image bearers. We have the ability to speak over our students words of Truth and to call out of our students the things we see in them. Their gifts. Their talents. Their perseverance when they have struggled to pass a subject that gives them nothing but trouble. To call them young men and young women while they are still children because words have the power to build up. To instill in our children the belief that they will not be difference makers in the future, but that they are difference makers now. That they can make choices that can change things around them for the good of others. That they can be children who consider the plight and needs of others and find ways to contribute to justice for the oppressed and care for the downtrodden.
My colleague showed us a clip from TED Talks that had us laughing, and me trying to blink back tears, because "every kid needs a champion". I loved this presenter's honesty, humour and the truth she spoke about the importance of teachers in the lives of children.
Education is all about people.