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July 18, 2010 / Brent Sears

Searching for Models

Education has been on my mind a lot lately.  As I travelled through Australia, trying to capture what I experienced via photos, video, and blogging, about 10 days in, I realized there was no way I could share all the things I was learning, seeing, and doing.  The world is a different place than it was a month ago when I set out.

I can’t say that about any one month of my in-classroom education, but that is because it was contained in four walls.  How does that compete with being free in the world, meeting people from all over the world, and observing another culture; similar to my own, but very different.

What I can say, is that the best teachers I have ever had were able to make me forget that the walls existed.  Their content/passion/experience/approach was so good, that they were the indispensible people who I wish I could sit down with again for more “lessons.”  But what made them good?

One made me dream by telling our class every-single time we met that we were all going to travel to Spain. Another taught me US history like no one else I have ever encountered, and simultaneously prepared me for life as well. Another was the greatest advisor in US history (that is my opinion) by masterful helping me navigate uncharted waters with confidence…she taught me what to do when neither of us knew the answer to one of my crazy questions.  Another gave me his very best, came to class as a human being first; you could tell the system hadn’t broken him…he has modeled how to make a difference.  Another came to class everyday, taught her subject, and led me, ever so quietly, to do what at the time looked impossible – international travel.  And there are others that were not “teachers” at all.  They were people who I met along the way: secretaries, administrators, students, friends, and family members who taught me/led me/showed me what they knew about the world.

Until further notice I will be highlighting these people, but with the purpose of searcing for models that they successfully employed…the goal is two-fold:

1). Thank each of them publicly and highlight their work

2). To reflect on what made them amazing and search for the models they used.

I will never stop learning, even though my classroom days are most-likely over!


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