The role of a teacher is to transmit to his students the knowledge he had acquired in a certain field, but is it only this?
Looking into the eyes of young learners you can see how they look for a personality to follow, someone they can take also as an example, someone which is more than a robotic information transmitter, someone that has a spirit that inspires to evolve and develop.
It is already obvious that the teachers of the future will face a huge challenge in the competition with the machines that will most probably take their place, but this could happen only if teachers continue to see themselves as information transmitting machines.
Recently, I received a message on Facebook. A young man’s picture popped in “Thank you for all you have done for me”. When I opened the picture, in my mind, reappeared an image of a 12 years old boy looking at me, I was all that his big black eyes could embrace in that minute…
” – Honestly Miss, do you think I should do this?
– Definitely, if this is what you like to do and especially because keep doing it you will become better and better every day.”
Nine years ago I was still a school teacher, I was teaching history but I encouraged one of my pupils to develop one of his passions for web designing by creating a website for history passionates, and he did it. Now, he is an adult, and guess what he works as a web designer. He found me by accident but he felt he had to thank me for encouraging him to develop his passion.
Teachers, especially those that work with young learners, even if not aware of it, have incredible superpowers and at the same time a huge responsibility. Society is evolving faster and faster, now more than ever before the future requires teachers first to transmit values, feelings and warmth and only after the knowledge they possess.
In this article, I gathered 10 Philosophical Principles that need to be brought in the classroom because first of all, we need to educate humans and only after professionals.
Wisdom is universal, it cannot be identified with a culture, ethnic or religion, wisdom is what we continuously work to acquire and is what we try to transmit to the next generation as the biggest value we have.
Thoughts from antiquity
- Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people. (Socrate)
We should teach our children that actions speak louder than our words and what we do is what defines us.
- Without training, they lacked knowledge. Without knowledge, they lacked confidence. Without confidence, they lacked victory. (Julius Caesar)
Among the thinkers of the ancient times, I especially admire Caesar, as he was not just a thinker but also a doer, he knew how to apply his knowledge into practice. This is a quality we need to cultivate in our learners, as knowledge is nothing without the ability to use it outside the classroom.
- The man who moves the mountain begins by carrying away small stones. (Confucius)
Children dream big, instead of doubting their dream’s likeliness we should encourage them to take their first small steps into that direction and let their potential flourish.
- Enjoy the work. Results are inevitable. (Budha)
Teaching children to do what they like means to teach them how to never work in their life and this for sure will help them to become successful in the future.
- You must be the change you want to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandhi)
True that the change starts inside of us and teaching children changing the world through them will actually change the world in the future.
Thoughts from modernity
- A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other. (Simon Sinek)
We should teach them that great relationships are built on trust, to relate successfully with others we need to be reliable and to choose around us people on which we can rely. Teamwork and fair play are what future will ask from them.
- The respect you give to others is a dramatic reflection of the respect you give yourself. (Robin Sharma)
Children need to learn to respect themselves and at the same time others. These two are interrelated and give shape to all human interactions.
- When you compete with a person, you only have to be as good or better than the person to win. If you compete with yourself, there is no limitation to how good you can be. (Chin-Ning Chu)
When you understand that the only person you compete with is you of yesterday you become limitless. Any learner should be appreciated according to his own evolution and not through comparison.
- You should learn from your competitor but never copy. Copy and you die. (Jack Ma)
We need to encourage children to play with ideas and to create new concepts starting from what it is known, being unique and creative is what makes people different than machines and this is what will help them in the future.
- The only way to do great work is to love what you do. (Steve Jobs)
We should teach children to be passionate about what they do because passion makes the difference between very good and exceptional.
As an ending thought valid for both teachers and learners, we cannot be good at everything but we can be THE BEST at something and always remember what Albert Einstein said: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Take care of you and your learners – teachers with superpowers.