Originally, I called this life’s mission, but that seemed to neo-liberal and neo-conservative for my liking. I subscribe to life as a calling and vocation based on the writings of Thomas Merton and Parker Palmer. Vocation comes from the Latin meaning voice, so a calling and vocation gives each of us voice in living and has an essential spiritual aspect to it. What calls each of us animates and we respond in ethical and moral ways. I think we have lost much of this in our current world. Although John Dewey did not write from a spiritual context per se, he wrote about self-interest as words meaning the same thing. What interests me? Interest comes from the Latin esse, which also is the root of essence, which is related to spirit. What inspirits me?
I wrote the following poem after a professional development day. I found inconsistencies revealed in those days fascinating. They were uninspiring, exhausting, and counterproductive. They lack personal, responsible choice. Too often, adults are dependent on others to make their decisions, hence the concept of accountability overriding responsibility. It is hard to believe we think these adults can engage in educating children, youth, and adults in any meaninful ways. Our voices are repressed, suppressed, and oppressed.
At the end of that day, I wondered and reflected on the following questions: “Am I seeing this in a proper light? What can I do to further the process of learning as a role model for students and other adults?” Learning and teachng are relational processes between people and subject. Parker Palmer argues we put the subject of our learning in the middle of pedagogic conversations. In this way, we acknowledge each human present has a different perspective of the same subject.
For me, going to an event based on Parker Palmer’s work, a poetry workshop with David Whyte, an assessment workship, etc. were and are exciting. It animates. When I obtained my Master’s of Education and PhD, it was not to earn more money or move up some fictional career ladder. Education was and is essential. In the midst of a pandemic. I am exploring how we can return to the roots of educating for life, as opposed to schooling to produce a compliant and conforming workforce. I think the latter emerges from the former, rather than the other way around
(Ex)pressing one’s voice–
Singing one’s song.
Planting seeds of awe,
(In)spiring to dance one’s dance.
Watering, feeding, nourishing,
Enriching, emboldening, becoming–
Embracing what brings life and joy–
I’m became a teacher not out of money but to inspire and to be inspired, it was a calling I guess. Amazing poetry with lot of depth summarized by the words of one and only Maya.
Thank you Tanya, Nobody becomes a teacher for the money. The challenge is to keep teachers in the profession.
I totally agree, I left a life of comfort back in Connecticut and have been teaching in Dubai literally for peanuts.It’s not easy the work never ends, esp last few months due to COVID-19 Online teaching, difficult parents, over bearing -management, learning new teaching technologies. Across the world there is a crisis of teachers leaving due to workload and low wages.
So, there are some universal challenges: difficult parents, overbearing management, and a crisis of teachers leaving the profession. I think the last one was exacerbated with the health crisis. It was happening and has taken off exponentially.
Yes I guess universally teachers deal with such issues. Private schools especially consider students as their cliental and will do anything to please. On the other hand many parents out there think that the teacher has some hidden agenda against their child. 🧐it’s an occupational hazard deal or leave😉
We do not have many private schools in the part of Alberta and Canada I live in. The language is making its way into the public schools.
Meeting parents made a big difference for me. It explained a lot about the child/youth I was teaching.
That’s true, meeting parents can explain lot about their children.
As always, your posts are some of the thoughts that “inspirits me”! Be well.
Thank you Melba. Be well.
Thought of a genius 👍
Thank you Subrata.