The future is looking for teachers who dare to teach with vision, engendering the power of learning in young lives; providing tools that truly allow connected knowledge in young minds to flow so that they can make choices with open eyes and open hearts.
Find a way to defy the bureaucratic constraints placed on educators and teach your passion!
Find a way to break free of “the way things are done” and be a part of the cure for education! It takes courage; it has always taken courage to rise above the gravitational pull of conformity. You became a teacher to make a difference in the lives of children. So…c’mon! Make a difference!
Now, let’s get practical!
For example: Geography.
Yes, teaching Geography with vision can be an amazing service – opening the eyes and minds of the potential world citizens of tomorrow!
Teaching Geography can be a world-view updating experience for you and a passport to adventure for your students; expanding their view of the world and deepening their sense of humanity.
Geography presented with vision and relevance helps young lives to feel confident to navigate the bewildering complexities of our 21st century world. You can help to give them a compass, an orientation that is rooted in deep and natural principle.
It is said that U.S. students are found to be “geographically illiterate”. It is not surprising when you consider the parochial nature of U.S.-centric perspectives in so many arenas – from news media to entertainment to music to politics to commerce to education to sports etc.
Children can’t help to have a ‘local view’ unless we help them otherwise. The only way their ‘map’ of the world is going to expand is by expanding their imagination!
So, how to inspire young lives into the adventure of Geography?
That’s why we wrote the song – New Geography. It serves as a springboard into the kaleidoscopic exploration of geography for students Grades 2nd through 5th.
Geographical literacy includes of course, knowledge of people, places and features around the world, political and natural boundaries, land types, climate regions, topography and cartography. But there is also something more fundamental, something which requires greater vision, passion and art!
It is to do with the fact that our world is an absolute wonder! That human life is a wonder! That life and Creation itself is a wonder! This is a fundamental truth no matter what your beliefs are. To be astounded by the phenomena of nature; to be in awe of the magnitude and beauty of it. To be humbled by the sheer scale of it all and our place in it. So yeah, WONDER!
How does wonder get sparked and kindled in a young life?
My grandparents traveled the world before the ‘jet age’. They used to send postcards from far off exotic places that fired up my imagination as a boy. Places like Cambodia, Thailand, Bali, Kenya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Spain, Germany, France, England, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama and Mexico! They all became the lexicon and landscape of my imagination.
There were also books and movies that told exciting stories set in foreign lands where people spoke strange languages and practiced bizarre customs. It was all part of the world I navigated in the theater of imaginary play as a boy.
I remember getting totally, happily lost investigating my grandparent’s topographical globe. You journeyed with your fingers as well as your eyes.
- Every place became a land to know, to imagine, to venture into.
The lines between ‘real’ and ‘make believe’ really weren’t important. What was important was the epic and romantic world odyssey!
Don’t deny children the vital inner life of their imagination. It is actually one of the essential keys to natural learning.
- Teach to set them free, not to indoctrinate. This is the University of Life! The more we foster genuine wonder in our lives, the more questions we ask. The more questions we pursue with our versatile learning toolkits, the more we expand our horizons. The more we expand, the greater the humility and respect we grow in ourselves, the less likely we are to judge out of fear and ignorance. Yes, Geography is important!
- So, as the song says:
- North, South, East and West
- Be a point of light upon the map!
- North, South, East and West
- This is ‘lesson one’ in Geography.