1. Patty Reid

    I totally agree, I am copying this and posting in my classroom and in our teacher’s workroom to remind us daily. Thank you for all you do

  2. Great post, George! It is almost like a “best of” for all the things that we need to keep in mind as educators and educational leaders. I love the comment about connecting with the heart before connecting with your mind. Learners (young and old) will learn more about things that they are passionate about. It is the emotion that, I believe, drives the learning. This year, I let my students explore things that they were excited and passionate about and they absolutely blew me away with their learning. Each student kept a blog and I asked them to write a weekly reflection. As you have mentioned in your post, they were able to organize thoughts and learning through the weekly blog entries.
    Thanks for an awesome post and for inspiring so many people!

  3. I stumbled on your website yesterday and found that although i give courses called Agents for Change for health professionals and all those who work with and live with people who have diabetes, in the rural regions of South Africa, if I swap ‘learner’ for ‘patient’, your message still holds true. I also tried this with C S Lewis’ quotation and it is remarkable how if fits the needs of what is we advocate as patient empowerment, instead of what is known as ‘ giving health education’ in our clinics in the public sector. The health provider is also a ‘patient’ on some level – strives for health. We have been trying to get the health coordinators who organise the invitations to our courses to invite teachers to our seminars so that children can also take advantage of peer support which is so potent.

  4. Knowing that relationship is at the heart of good teaching is one thing but having the courage to be vulnerable in order to develop those relationships is quite another. One cannot “acquire” a relationship with a student like one can acquire knowledge. The former requires a different kind of commitment and a completely different skill set.

    My fellow teachers tell me that they are too afraid to teach the way I do. What can be done about the fears teachers have of coming down from the pedestal at the centre of the classroom?

    We have to find a way to increase the probability that classrooms become places and spaces of community and collaboration given that the crises facing humanity can only be solved through co-operation, not competition. We are all we’ve got on this tiny blue dot. We have to learn to live together and that has to start in classrooms.

    • George

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Lizanne…Those connections you speak about are crucial for change.

  5. Beth H.

    So true- I especially resonate with the idea of putting yourself in the role of the learner in your own classroom- This became very real for me when I had kids. Now that one of my kids is in a classroom daily it gives me an awareness for the students that I had not ever considered and a new level of excellence to hold them to. We must stay in the attitude of learners and stay on the journey.

    • George

      Totally true and that perspective is especially helpful! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Beth!

  6. The Diwali

    Lizanne, thank you for your insights: to solve a crisis in village we need collective effort of collaboration, not competition or isolation. I’d like to follow up with the following story.

    Once up on a time there was a medical school. One time at the beginning of the program the director went over the syllabus and concluded: the reading will be posted in the library and must be done by the deadline. The students went ahead and studied hard and compete fiercely that every time the professor collected the posts from the library they noticed was missed the piece of important information. After graduation all graduated on time abs became very successful in their chosen field. But also the director noticed all left their village and the crisis was never solved and they never returned to give back or visited the school.

    The next time the director, same director changed the syllabus and the program by starting the year by sharing with his future doctors that why or the purpose they are here. Further he brings in a real sick patient and have the patient sit in the center of the circle surrounded by the future doctors and the directed opening his case: My fellow future doctors here is Johnny and Johnny could come from your family your village or could be you. Go ahead interview him and work together to figure out the way to help him.

    And the rest is the history. That is a real change: change begins with us and must come from inside out.

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