Sunday, November 3, 2013

Education Rant

     I am supposed to teach young women's next week. So, for the last few days I have been thinking about the topic and am trying to decide what I am going to say. Now, luckily for me, I like this topic and I feel more qualified to teach it than I have many of the other lessons I have taught in the past year. The title is "Why is it important to get an education?"
    This particular topic is important to me for multiple reasons. First, I like to learn. A big part of the reason I went into teaching in the first place was so that I would have the opportunity to be a lifelong learner. Second, stagnation makes me sick. I can't stand sitting around for very long (not that I can't do it) but I like to feel like I am progressing in some way or towards something. Third, I spend a large portion of my time with kids. This being the case I can see what a difference it makes to have educated parents.
    With my young women in mind my goal is to somehow impress up on them the importance of getting an education not only for their own sakes but for the sakes of their current families, future families, and the many people they will one day come in contact with. Education is certainly not about single individuals.
    Before I went into teaching I was an art major. I liked it just fine but I got bored taking classes that pertained to the same subject all day. The idea of teaching, once it entered my mind, was very appealing because not only could I still be involved with art, but I would have the chance to continue learning about math, science, history, psychology, writing, reading etc. There wasn't ever a subject I took that I despised (except for possibly chemistry) so going into education was a win win. My college classes in education were not exactly what I was hoping for but they were interesting. I got to learn a lot more about law and culture than I had anticipated. Actually teaching, however, has been an adventure. Last year, I had to relearn American History (although I admit we only made it to the Civil War) and fifth grade science. Science is not my strong suit though I do like it. I remember being in the building late one day last year trying to understand just what kind of electricity lightning was and how it worked. In my classroom I have also had to become the resident expert on poetry, i-pod usage, and computer skills. Furthermore, I am still taking college courses to obtain endorsements to help me more adequately teach different students. All of this keeps me busy, engaged, and using my time wisely.
     All the learning also prevents academic/intellectual stagnation. I'm no Einstein and it's not like I can't sit still for a movie but I like to progress. Summer is actually hard for me if I don't keep myself busy because I go from constantly using my brain and making plans to weeding my lawn. Not that that doesn't take brains but its definitely different. In fact, quick tangent, (which is also part of my lesson) there are an awful lot of things that one can be educated about that have nothing to do with sitting in a classroom. When we bought our house I quickly became educated on the intricacies of tools, the proper way to paint a room, how to put a ceiling up, and what exactly it meant to pay a mortgage. No one had ever bothered to educate me on such topics before.
    This concept brings me to my third point, sort of. I realize that it is not easy and or fun for many people to learn. I have kids in my class who learn effortlessly and quickly. Then, I have kids who have to work on their homework for hours just to half grasp a concept. However, I can almost always tell whether or not a child's parents have an education. The kids with parents who went to school have bigger vocabularies, more self confidence, and fewer emotional issues (generally speaking). Now this, I think, should be the biggest reason to get educated. I went to college with the mindset that my ultimate goal was a family. One day, I want to raise my kids with further education as a goal. I think I will be able to be a better mother having gotten the degree I did. (I realize many people are born nurturers, I have never felt like one of those people. Therefore, I imagine, this specific degree will help me immensely.) Like I said earlier, getting an education is not just a favor one does for oneself, it is a favor for ones peers and family. The education of few often betters the lives of many. Why would that be different for less well known individuals.
Seminary Graduation
    The last thing I want to make sure I get across when I teach my lesson, is the fact that a person's spiritual education is at least as important as a person's academic education. This is the part of the lesson that I feel least qualified to teach. I try to do everything I am supposed to when it comes to continuously following commandments and building my testimony, but I don't necessarily try as hard as I should. It is easy to succumb to the things that have deadlines attached, or paychecks, or tangible rewards. It takes far more self control (at least for me) to focus and dedicate time to things that are far more intrinsic and require patience.
    However, gaining spiritual knowledge should be at the top of my list of priorities because it is the most important.

No comments:

Post a Comment