Teach Your Children Well…They ARE Our Future

Lately, I have been hooked on TED Talks! I love to find ones that are around 7 minutes (because I can sit still that long) and ones that are highly rated and have inspiring speakers. So naturally, I gravitate to Education, Passion for Creativity, Technology & Innovation.  If you have not ever gone to YouTube and watched one, you need to.  You can learn the story behind the story that you probably never imagined!

One problem.  The more I watch these thought provoking talks, the more passionate and fired up I become.  How is this a problem you wonder?  Quite honestly, it fires me up to change the world.  I feel it. I believe it.  I want to make it happen, but then…I have no clue how little ole me can begin to do something with this fire.  It has been said.. it is not what you know, but what you DO with this knowledge!

As I listened to Sean Aiken’s talk What Makes You Come Alive? my heart really connected with him.

The first, as a student. This was me.  Growing up, I was a great student. I did exactly what was asked and memorized everything I needed to in order to make straight As. Then, I left college and started my first teaching job and thought, What?!  This is NOT like all the classes I took. I have to think of this on my own!? I soon found out, many of us were in that same boat that first year.

The second, as a person wanting to make a difference.  If you watch this segment, you will hear Sean talk about finding your passion.  He created the One Week Job Project based on this desire to find his passion and really make a difference.

To sum up the main points that really stuck with me:

  • It is about finding your gift and asking yourself what contribution do you want to make in the world.
  • Share these gifts!  This is when you feel truly alive!
When he surveyed people who were happy in their job what they liked most about it, here is what they said.
  • I enjoy my coworkers.
  • My job is connected to my life’s work.  
  • I believe that I am making a difference.
It’s the third one that really sticks.  Isn’t that what we all want?  Isn’t that why we went into education? I know that is true for me.  Having a sense that what you are doing makes a difference can do so much for your happiness. The people who are most passionate about their jobs are the ones who are connected to the meaning of it. He goes on to say that with those who have this feeling it is not the actual job that is important, but their relationship with it and why.
So, tying this to creativity in our schools, and this fire inside me to make a difference…
What do you think would change if our kids had this connectedness to why they were learning something and felt that relationship to the meaning of it?
How would our schools change if we focused on creativity, choice, and meaningful learning instead of the pressures to raise test scores?

How will our future be with children who grow up with this educational experience instead of just being a great student until they leave college?

Sean Akin ends with a quote from Charles Eisenstein that I love.

“It’s time.  It’s time to create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.” 

Where I am not so sure he was not talking about education when he said this, I can’t help but think, isn’t this what we feel? We all know there are so many ways to make a difference in education, but even more so in a child’s life!  It’s time. Now, more than ever, we can teach our children why their education is important.  We can teach at such an early age how creativity, curiosity, reflection, individual thinking, determination, compassion, connectedness, and empathy are such important characteristics to have in life.  We NEED these children to create a more beautiful world, and it is our job to give them these opportunities in school as they grow up.  

This is my motto: Teach Your Children Well – Okay, maybe it is the title of a great song I love by Crosby Stills Nash & Young.  🙂  Still, so true.

So, to answer my own question as I began this entry…how will little ole me go out and change the world?  Maybe not all in one day.  Or one year. 
What I do know is that what makes me come alive is what keeps me happy.  That is inspiring children to go do amazing things in this world.  Leading children to truly love reading.  Touching the hearts of children so that they see compassion by modeling compassion. Fostering creativity in every child so they know uniqueness is important. Connecting these children with the world so they see how we are all ONE and oh, what amazing things we can do together!
I will end with one of my favorite quotes!  

Virtual Voyage – Ted Talks

I discovered the world of TED Talks awhile back and began watching some, following them on Twitter, and got the app on my iPad.  Then, I was bombarded with all the information and had to scale back a bit. 🙂

I love how short and sweet the information is delivered.  Recently, at our VALOR Summer Visioning Institute, we watched the one with Steven Johnson called Where Good Ideas Come From.  Not only did I learn how the GPS originated, but he held my attention the entire time.  I walked away with his thought, “Chance favors the connected mind.” and my mind started rolling with the many ways we connect with people and the importance that plays into our teaching and our growth.

Of course, Kid President is my all time favorite so watching his TED Talk is a MUST!  It is a way to learn and discuss snippets of information without having to spend more time than any of us really have.