Just like in life, there are many paths to be taken in education. As an educator I have had to make decisions as to which path/s I wanted to explore, which new horizons and contexts within the educational field I wanted to experience. I make decisions as to which approaches I find the most relevant to introduce in my teaching practices, which areas of study make the most sense to study, and I make decisions about who I most learn from.
Yes, I could speak of the frustrations of being disempowered as an educator; after all, I also know well the context where teachers are not informed of decisions which affect them and their learners – for example, a new assessment format or changes in the assessment content. As in all walks of life, anyone involved in education will have endless stories of not being empowered as a professional, of having to juggle so many inconsistencies that they become disenchanted with the field, of even risking being disengaged with their choices in their career.
Nevertheless, I am always puzzled when asked why I am in education, how did I become a teacher; there is no simple, straight-forward reply to such questions.
Ask me instead who I learn from. Ask me instead why learning is important, how learning can be fun, stimulating, life-enhancing.
And let me share inspirational words from someone who has often influenced me throughout my career in education – for education is not a glass fishbowl, disconnected and displaced from the world outside classrooms.
And because time is so limited, and because education is not only the processes and products behind closed classroom doors, learners of all ages and levels should be encouraged to find their voice, to find their path/s in life and learning. This too is part of education and what it means to learn.
Why am I still in the field of education, a field fraught with budget cuts, where bits of paper meaning a qualification are more and more valued than the wisdom that comes with experience and constant professional training carried out throughout the years, a field which is undergoing a profound change while leaving participants in the field hesitant, confused and even bewildered with the speed and demand of change?
Because as a learner I live with belief. Belief of choice. Belief of contributing to a better today, a better tomorrow.
This afternoon, while I was reading and curating, I came across a blog posting written by Edna Sackson and was filled with joy that someone who I have never worked with, who I have never met, shared the same practices as I do.
There are many educators around the world who share the same commitments, beliefs and practices as myself; it would not be possible to even begin mentioning them all here. Equally, there are many others from outside the classroom world who teach me too.
Why am I still a learner, still a teacher?
Belief of change.
Why are you in the field of education?
What Ed Said – Edna Sackson