15 January 2008

So much more going on ......

A busy day indeed today and yesterday in very unexpected directions.

One strange detail that I encountered in class was some students adversely affected by a former student, and their friend, who committed suicide. When students get on these tough topics I’m not sure which way to go … usually I end up being honest about what I’m feeling and I’m not sure that’s the best policy … so although I was saddened by the suicide I talked about the courage that young man had. He took his own life by hanging himself in the closet. Apparently, he had to lift his legs off a box and keep them up intentionally to not touch the floor and thus achieve his objective. To me that showed determination … even in his final moments …. he made a continual, diligent effort.

Of course, the next comment out of my mouth was that IF he had applied that determination to being happy …. and not depending on other for his happiness ….. he would see the opportunity and joy in being alive.

At the same time, I began working with a fury the last two days to organize my thoughts for setting up an effort in education to promote project based learning that includes character education. I wasn’t sure where all this energy was arriving from until a few moments ago when I began reflecting. That suicide and talking to the students really pushed a few of my own buttons …. getting me stirred up.

Teaching is so much more than lecture and presentations and assignments …. So much is based on relating to people…. covering so much more than just subject content.

What did I get done? My mission statement and here it is …

Develop programs, train teachers, produce materials, and facilitate a service learning network that consistently produces local opportunities for K-12 teachers and students to apply academic knowledge and grow life skills to be better global citizens.

What do you think?

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