Learning has always been an integral part of who I am. I love to learn, and yes, I was good at school.
This does not make me more accomplished than my classmates who were bad at school though, because often it was school who failed both the most brilliant students as well as the students who didn’t learn well in a classroom setting. In a way, being good at school just meant that I was well-behaved and average.
When I was a teacher, being in the classroom was difficult for me in many ways. Often, school and the classroom have major drawbacks. Some of these may include:
- Regimented learning
- Learning that does not incorporate fun (see my post on In Search of fun)
- Teaching only to the average (which child IS average?!?)
- Teacher as authority
- Not incorporating FLOW into learning
- Too much time spent on behavior management
- Very little experiential or real world learning
- Not teaching life skills, such as goal setting, money management or mindfulness based stress reduction
Now this is not a rant against teachers, no, most teachers I know really want children to learn and grow, but many of them end up spending time on managing their classrooms, because the nature of classrooms means that they need a manager.
Kids and teachers need a way to make a lesson and a unit of learning, engaging, exciting and experiential and there are things coming. New technologies, new ways of thinking, new “radical” ideas that may change the way a classroom works.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. There’s a viral video that’s been shared around the internet about a boy named Logan LaPlante who is home-schooled. If you haven’t seen the video, I’m embedding it at the end of this post.
There were 2-3 things that really got me thinking in that video.
Logan’s first point is that we all really want to be happy. That’s the mission in all of our lives and it’s something that is not taught in traditional school. We all go to university, work on our careers, hope to make lots of money, search for our soul mate, get married, have kids…. all for what? Because we want to be happy.
In the video, Logan refers to the 8 TLCs (no not tender loving care, although that is fitting) which stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. If these are incorporated into our lives everyday it increases our happiness, focus and learning.
We should be teaching children how to eat right, how to exercise and ways that incorporate mindfulness and social competence. These things will have far-reaching benefits into their adulthood.
*Please note that I have included religious practice. This is meant for home and for parental guidance. If a parent chooses to send a child to a school that matches their spiritual beliefs that is their right. However, I am not endorsing bringing back prayers or religion into public schools. As the 8 Ways to Well Being website puts it, Spirituality is the “reflection and contemplation on what is important in life”.
Stay tuned for part 2 where we talk more about hack schooling, the Kinect, and other ways technology will change education.
Lakshmi Gosyne is an author, illustrator, web designer and teacher. She worked as a preschool and primary school teacher for 16 years and a Graphic Designer for 4 years before writing two yoga story books: Jungle Walk: A Yoga Story for Kids and Waiting for Dad: A Yoga Story for Kids. You can find out more at www.lakshmigosyne.com