Philosophy of Education

Minor Myers Jr. once said, “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” Myers was the president of Illinois Wesleyan University, a man whose colleagues, friends, and students knew him to be passionate about learning and who taught students first how to dream and then showed them how to make their dreams a reality. More than that, he believed in community and collaboration in learning, and that it is the sharing of talents and knowledge that creates positive change in the world. And that is what we, this community of students and family members from this year and every year I’ve taught spectrum, are continually striving for: teaching each other to do well every day, but more importantly helping each other be and do good in the classroom, in our neighborhoods, and in the world.

Education in the United States has gotten a lot of attention in the recent years, so much of which has been centered on how to make students academically succeed in the classroom, so they may then succeed in university, and in turn succeed in workforce. But a test or a paper cannot measure the skills needed to truly succeed in this world. Life is so much more complex and beautiful than that. Right here in this room, we have a community, families that span generations, and dear friends. I believe these relationships are as integral to a child’s learning process than knowing their times tables or the continents. Knowing how to do good is as important as knowing how to do well, and in this classroom we learn from each other every day on how to do both.

One of aspects I treasure most about this classroom is that I am able to watch your children develop intellectually, emotionally, and socially. One year a first grader may struggle with reading, and then two years later I watch that same child help teach another first grader how to read. Every day they grow a little more and overcome challenges through community support. I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together. Being a spectrum teacher gives me hope that the world can overcome our problems because these kids-they help each other become better, they inspire each other to be passionate about learning and community building, and most importantly, they believe in each other. What these children share is something all adults, leaders and parents, should aspire to. 

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