The number one goal of education should be to prepare young people to conquer the world. Educators must illuminate the possibilities for young people, expose them to open doors they are not yet able to see and encourage them to not only take life step by step but to leap toward dreams and goals that others might say are impossible.
As an educator, I have three goals for my work. First, I strive to build relationships that will not only help me understand the personalities of students and parents and colleagues but will also reveal the strengths and weakness upon which or around which we can build a path to success. Relationships are paramount to successful education efforts. Building some semblance of trust and understanding and living as transparently as possible allows my students to fully engage in the process of learning.
Secondly, it is my charge to provide a safe place where students are allowed to engage in delicate conversation, express themselves intellectually and creatively, and dare to wonder about what life could be or would be like if obstacles such as poverty did not exist. It is a safe place where the worries of every day can be addressed as needed or where they can be set aside in order to just dream for a bit.
Finally, It is my hope to build the foundation of my classroom upon the Socratic notion that the educator’s job is to teach students how to think and not what to think. I want to empower them to not only come up with the answers but to decide what the questions are. I want to put learning in their hands and their hearts, not just in their heads.
By focusing on building relationships, providing a safe place, and empowering young people, I hope that I am giving students what they need to, indeed, conquer the world.