Saturday, September 03, 2005

School Boards

The area school board is taking applications to fill a vacated seat on the Board of Education and I am applying for it.

Why you may ask?

Because I for one think that education is a very important aspect of a child’s life. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those that thinks a child should be all schoolwork and no play, but I do think that having a solid educational background is a good thing. If you disagree with me (and I know there will be people who disagree with me), that is fine. That is your opinion and (you gotta love this country) everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.

One of the questions on the application asks what my educational philosophy is, and I know all of you are just anxious to see it as well, so here it is.

My educational philosophy is that the role of education is oftentimes underestimated and misunderstood. The true role of education and teaching is to prepare the students for the rough roads that will be ahead of them in life, as well as teaching them the materials that need to be covered in the class. The better we can teach children to make responsible decisions and give them the tools to think for them selves, the better society we will create. The finest teachers I have had in all my years of schooling were the ones who taught me not only how to memorize information, but also taught me how to actually use that information in order to be a success in life. I feel that in order for a student to really want to learn, they must first see that what they are learning will help them be successful in the future. If a student does not or cannot see a real reason to retain the information taught to them, they will not remember it. If the information is not retained, then what did the teacher actually teach the student?

The role of the student is also many times misunderstood and underestimated. Students themselves sometimes underestimate their importance in society. The truth is that students are a vital part of our society. Students truly are the future of our world. Students also play the role of teacher far more often than they realize. Again, going back to my experiences with teachers, the best teachers I've ever had were the teachers who were not afraid to admit when they were wrong. A good teacher is not embarrassed if a student shows them up; instead they look at the experience as a positive experience. It should be every teacher's goal to have every student leaving their classes with at least as much, if not more, knowledge of the course and life than they themselves have.

I believe that lifelong learning is the key to happiness, and no other profession offers as many opportunities to be a lifelong learner as the profession of teaching and education. I want to be able to impact students in positive ways, as many of my teachers have done throughout my life. One day each student will set off to lead his or her own lives. We have to trust that we did the best we could, to prepare them to live in a world that they will have a part in shaping. All students have a great potential ahead, but it is up to educators to help them see it is within their reach.

Of course, that’s just one guy’s opinion.