Anica, Graduate Student and Former Teacher, CA
Imagine your child (or one you care about deeply) is now in their 30s – out of school and starting into adult life. What do you hope for them about their life? What would make it a ‘good’ life?
When I hear that question I think of my former students. I had first graders, and they were very much in that stage of life where the entire world was open to them, and their true passions are starting to show. And those passions will obviously change over the years, but they just get so excited about things. And I want that to never go away.
I also want them to be supported, and be able to follow whatever that passion ends up being. And be able to pursue it with everything they have. I don’t want doors to ever be closed unless they decide to close them.
What role do you think schooling should play in achieving that ideal good life?
I think that school should be a place of wonder. Yes, it should provide core skills and basics of functioning and life, but it should also push kids to explore and learn skills like collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking. I think the actual content is way less important, than those skills that you’re going to build.
And schools should push every child to be themselves, and give them the resources and support they need to pursue what they want to pursue. But also give them the space for them to figure that out for themselves. This is a difficult thing to do, but I think if schools are places of wonder and excitement, it’s okay if kids are on different levels. And you can create environments where kids feel safe, and where kids feel loved. It’s the role of the school and the teacher to do that.