Becoming a passionate teacher

9 May

Watching the talk given by Ken Robinson really got me thinking about my educational history.

When he said:

Math, science and English language at the top, then the humanities then the arts way down at the bottom. And in the arts there’s always another hierarchy. Art and music are always thought to be more important than drama or dance. There isn’t a school system in the world that teaches dance every day, systematically, to every child, in the way that we require them to learn mathematics… Why is dance such a loser in the system? … People never saw any economic point in it.

I recognized my educational history, and pictured how arts education is always the first to go. I saw a school I once worked at with no art program, so the teachers tried to incorporate art into their classroom lessons.

When Sir Robinson went on to say: “You probably found yourself benignly steered away from things you were good at in school towards things that other people advised you would be more useful to you.” I saw myself, and my experience in high school. I saw my advisor forbidding me to take auto shop because I “needed” more Advanced Placement classes. I saw my teachers faces when I announced I was going to attend an Acting Conservatory program instead of go to Tulane.

Sir Robinson (yes, he’s been knighted) has really inspired me and I’ve been looking into more of his talks, watching this TED talk he gave with a group of friends (I can’t embed it, but it’s a short video)

This led to a pretty interesting discussion – most of the people I watched it with are involved in theatre as performers, writers, designers, or directors. The “Orange juice” was also flowing pretty freely, so people were getting quite passionate. This led to watching a lot of other TED talks, and talking about how education is changing and what needs to happen to foster creativity. Have you heard of TED? It’s a nonprofit group for “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design,” and they have two annual conferences where they “bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less). ” There are a ton of awesome talks on the website, and I hope to incorporate them into my personal learning as well as my teaching.

I’m lucky to have found my own passion, even if it meant flying in the face of everything I was “supposed” to do – go to a good school, major in Western Lit or Business, and become a good little worker with a house in the suburbs. I’m also lucky to have supportive parents, friends, and to have found a community of like-minded people with whom I can have these awesome, random, discussions.


One Response to “Becoming a passionate teacher”

  1. ponderinged May 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Like you, I greatly enjoyed this video feed as well. I found it uplifting being a student of arts and seeing their value. Often when I look at middle school and high school curriculum, I find it sad, often lacking in extra curricular activities and electives. To me, electives and extra curricular activites are the basis of finding out who you want to become and where you want to pursue your future careers. If it weren’t for the radio and television communications program in my high school and the excellent opportunities I found through an after school program in Junior Achievement, I don’t know what I would have become. It was these experiences that taught me what I wanted to do with my life after school and helped me find a path as I entered college. The calculus classes, chemistry and literature did not show me what I could become or how to use the skills I was learning to translate to a profession.

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