A Little Love Letter for Teachers

I know that sometimes your educational professional development can feel like neither professional nor development. Many of my friends and colleagues are spending their days in lectures, meetings, and various other activities that keep them from doing the work they want to be doing to be their best for their students.

If this describes how you’re feeling, bathe in this visionary speech from educational guru Ken Robinson. No, not this one. Not this one. This is his most recent one, from April of 2013.

How To Escape Education’s Death Valley

Like me, you might want to watch this on repeat for 5 or 6 hours, cheering a lot, crying a little, with a few “you tell ’em”s for good measure.

And if you’re stuck unable to watch, here are my three favorite quotes – repeat them as mantras to get you through the tough days.

1. There are … principles on which human life flourishes, and they are contradicted by the culture of education under which most teachers have to labor and most students have to endure.

2. The trouble is that education doesn’t go on in the committee rooms of our legislative buildings. It happens in classrooms and schools, and the people who do it are the teachers and the students, and if you remove their discretion, it stops working. You have to put it back to the people.

3. And by the way, the arts aren’t just important because they improve math scores. They’re important because they speak to parts of children’s being which are otherwise untouched.

Watch this powerful and important speech as many times as you can. What he describes is the education I want for my sons, for my students, for every child.