Monthly Archives: June 2012

Teaching is Uniting.“Bond of Union” by M. C. Escher, 1956


Teaching is Fostering Resiliency.

As teachers, we will be Mandated Reporters of child abuse and neglect. We will be in a position of using professional judgement to identify cases of abuse and neglect, spanning the spectrum of physical, emotional, sexual, and beyond. Unfortunately, these traumas will be an all too present reality for many of the students in our schools.

Along with being a Mandated Reporter, I believe we should also see our role as being a Resiliency Mentor. We are ideally positioned to promote resiliency in our classrooms. We can demonstrate positive coping skills, provide opportunities for outlets through writing and art, build our students’ self-confidence and self-worth, cultivate community to ensure a healthy social support system for all students, be a nurturing and compassionate secondary caregiver and trusted adult. Signs of abuse and neglect are symptoms of a social trauma and violence. Some may also be indicators that we are not doing all that we can as educators to foster resiliency among our young learners. Resiliency is not only a coping mechanism for the abused and neglected; it is a preventative mechanism for everybody and everyone.

Teaching is doing.

How do you cultivate learning without doing? How can you create a learning experience without active experimentation, exploration, examination?

Some people can learn passively; our current education system is generally catered to this style of learning. What about our students who learn better actively? Our current education system all too often overlooks the capacities of these children, identifying their failures as learners rather than the failures of our systems to provide and allow for authentic learning experiences.

Even still, the process of learning is never passive. It is always active. Something within and between us is transitioned, translated, transformed. Learning always involves setting things into motion; learning is transmotion. Learning produces new forms of knowledge, challenges and changes our current forms of knowledge, leads to future developments of knowledge. Learning is fluid, active, adaptive, alive. No rigid system can limit this perpetual motion.

Teaching is Preparing Motion.

Over the past few months, I have spent much time and energy thinking about the role of teaching as a public health practice. These thoughts have revolved around the fact that our students will leave our classrooms and enter the public world. We will have the power to use our classrooms to (re)shape spaces beyond the walls of our classrooms, in a way that promotes good health for individuals and communities. I have focused on what we can teach to reach this goal; however, I have been overlooking the role of how we teach in health education. Health education is not just about teaching health goals; it is also about the way we design our curriculum and create engaging lessons for any subject matter. This is the shadow work of health education.