In this fast-paced world of instant-gratification and short attention spans, it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to pause and reflect. In today’s world, if a quotation forces you to slow down and makes you contemplate what it has to say, I think it should be recognized. I’ve gathered some of my favorites; powerful quotations that I think we should ponder as we consider education.
I love this quotation because I think it speaks to the true meaning of education; why many of us became educators in the first place and the mindset we hope to inspire in our students. The misconception that our education system circulates now, the idea that you have “learned enough” or that you are now “college and career ready” or that you have “met the standard” of a particular grade, fails to promote the true essence of education. Education is not a destination; it is a state of being. It is to constantly recognize that there is more to learn, to allow room for growth and improvement and to be on a constant, curious quest to learn more. Now, isn’t that idea inspiring?
My last post Reading on a Snowy Day addressed what I believe to be the core idea of this quotation. It speaks to extending learning beyond the classroom, parents interacting with their children in learning and reading activities, cultivating positive associations with learning, creating exciting and fun activities that make learning contagious! We need to do this- in our classrooms, in our communities and in our homes.
I have this quote hanging in my classroom. It serves as a reminder to me but it also contributes to the culture of the classroom and is a source of empowerment for the students. Sometimes, especially as kids, we feel powerless and helpless in our bodies. I refer to this quotation during discussions on social and historical movements Individuals coming together have made real change before. It is, I think, an important concept to introduce to students.
Many times, both as teachers and as parents, we get caught up in what we are teaching, what our kids are learning and how we know that they are learning it. While these are obviously very important questions to think about, the reality is sometimes they take our focus away from such a simple notion as this quotation delivers. If we can create opportunities for our kids to develop a passion for learning and reading, then all doors are open to them.
How can this be said better? This quotation reminds me as a teacher that content is only a small part of what I am teaching. I need to ensure that I provide opportunities for my students to develop other skills that will allow them to engage with and shape the world around them.
Why are we here? What is our purpose? This quotation speaks to those deep questions of the universe. It is a thought I have students consider when they think about how they interact with others and the energy they are putting into the world. Maya Angelou has a powerful quotation that speaks to this idea as well. I’m sure this resonates particularly with parents, why do you get up in the morning? What pulls you into work each day? It is this idea- working to create opportunities for your children’s future. This is success.