I’ve been writing something that isn’t ready to share yet. See, I recently found a copy of my philosophy of education, developed in college as part of my teaching program. This was a compilation of everything I had studied in my education major, and it represented my unique perspective as a teacher. It was the final step of completing the degree: a concise statement on my approach to teaching, learning, leading, and education in general. It was to be discussed in my final interview; the requirement for graduation was that all teachers must compose a personal philosophy of education. It was important.
It was also helpful, as it required me to articulate my focus on leading children in a classroom. What were my larger goals as a teacher? What did I most want my students to walk away with at the end of our time together? I wrote my philopsphy of education 15 years ago, and much of it still applies today…now as a parent.
My role as a teacher is simply to be a guide to the students’ learning. I am there to help prepare them to become independent, capable, virtuous citizens, but I am merely a guide. I simply show them the direction to take; they must get there on their own.
[Students] are in the middle of an approximately 21-year-long process of growing into a unique individual, and teachers have a 9-month influence in that process. By the time students leave my class, they will feel more ready to face their future, have a higher sense of responsibility for themselves, know what it means to respect peers and adults in their lives, and have strongly developed relationship skills for working with a variety of people.
I was inspired. My career has since shifted a bit from teaching kids to parenting my own, but could the same statement be made? What is my philopsophy of parenting? I know I write about it in bits and pieces in blog posts and magazine articles, but what if I articulated it in one consice statement? What if I had this statement readily available to read, re-read, and remind myself of my approach to raising my children and the big-picture goals for my family?
It is hard! But it is helpful. I’m working on it. It requires me to get focused about everything I value and all of my my goals as a parent. It is daunting. When it’s done, I’m going to keep it where I can read it often. Maybe I’ll carry it with me. I’ll post it for you here.
In the meantime, I’ll share with you some pictures and a quick update. I am currently recovering from a knee injury, which has left me fairly stationary for the last 6 weeks and looking something like this:
From my spot on the couch, my kids have kept me occupied with lots of board games.
Gobblet is a fun one. It’s like a 4×4 version of tic-tac-toe. And the pieces are stackable, so it’s possible to “gobble up” your opponent’s piece with your own, changing the layout of the board frequently. Great for the strategically-minded.
Another one that is fun and has a broad appeal is Labyrinth. It’s a game that is great for the littles as it does not require reading, but can be equally challenging for us big kids, too. It’s a quest for objects in a constantly shifting maze of pathways.
For some reason, I always end up being the old hag. For some reason, my kids think that’s funny. Trying to figure out how to turn a dead-end into a continuous path often leaves my old hag stumped.
JJ and I spent some time making cardboard people. He was inspired by his favorite graphic novel, Cardboard, in which creatures made out of a boy’s magic cardboard come to life. A couple of creatures created, and JJ had plans for many more and a cardboard castle for them to live in. The project eventually led to a door-to-door search for more boxes.
And my wonderful husband has been a big help in taking care of things when I haven’t been able to. Plus he brings me tea.
Readers, thanks for your patience, and I’m excited to get back to you with, what will hopefully be, some inspiring words.