Diana discusses a variety of her experiences as a teacher in the K-12 system and encourages all teachers to stop worrying about information delivery and instead to focus education on application of knowledge (real experiential learning), listening compassionately to students and hearing what they are trying to do, and encouraging and embracing failure. That last point is critical – don’t panic when students get something wrong, in fact encourage students to take risks and fail, that’s how they learn. Too often we see students afraid to respond with the wrong answers. Maybe we shouldn’t be asking questions that have one, right answer in public forums (i.e. classrooms), instead ask questions that everyone’s response is valid. How do you encourage risk taking and wrong answers in your teaching?
Brene Brown is an academic social work researcher with an amazing personal story. Using thousands of stories, she finds that people that feel love and connected (wholehearted) share four key attributes: courage, compassion, connections, and most surprisingly, vulnerability.
Courage means to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart – imperfections and all. Compassion starts with treating ourselves kindly and then must extend to treating others kindly. Connections were the result of authenticity, that is real connections not connections from trying to be something they weren’t. Vulnerability, well I’ll leave that from Brene.
I have little doubt that we can all learn from these ideas, but particularly educators. As an educator I hope that I am “wholehearted”, the other option I suppose would be “broken hearted” and that’s not where I want to be. As Parker Palmer explains, “As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together.” Enjoy.