Educators today have adopted the common phrase, “All children can learn.” This statement suggests that learning is an option; an option that I believe does not exist. I am of the opinion that “All children will learn”. The difference between the “can” and “will” is the understanding that all children learn. Either from their school or their personal environment, each student will learn based on and moreover in spite of the quality of teaching or their interaction with the environment. Again, it is not a question of “can they learn,” but more so a question of “what are they learning?” Research has proven that negative environments, whether in the home or in the school, are highly detrimental to the sociological, and psychological development of our children, and furthermore, leads to the very destruction of a child’s feeling of self-worth, leading thusly to feelings of emptiness, loss of hope, and in many cases to a life of violence and crime. It is therefore not only the quality of information that we must be concerned with but also, more importantly, the quality of its delivery.
I believe that when we facilitate the delivery of information positively, then, our student’s ability to receive, process and embody the information and the concepts pertaining to the learning process will be enhanced. Indeed, it is the quality of the delivery that ultimately determines how and to what extent the learner incorporates the information. Ergo, incorporation of knowledge is determined by not only our students’ abilities or lack thereof, but enriched and magnified by the attitudes and dynamic impact brought by the combination of parent, teacher and environmental influences. As educational leaders, we must persistently pursue the position that it is the “quality of the instruction” that influences everything from educational acquisition to discipline management. We must recognize that all children are willing to learn if motivated and stimulated by dedicated professionals. Finally, we must recognize that as teachers and educational leaders, we have a tremendous responsibility in our classrooms, even to the degree that we literally can influence the very achievements of our students.
Throughout the teaching cycle, we should work collaboratively with our students to illustrate the relationship between the acquisition of knowledge and the personal relevancy of this information. In a word, we must seek, establish and maintain positive “relationships.” We must provide for our children, an atmosphere that will ensure that they are empowered respectfully, responsibly, and with dignity, and we must stand ready to affect our schools, communities and students with the message that “you are important” and that “I believe in you.”
I believe and am committed to the belief that mankind is an interdependent being, and as such, will only realize our fullest potential when the sharing of ourselves is the primary function of our everyday activities. I have dedicated my life to the realization of this philosophy through the process of educational acquisition and enrichment appreciation.
I am because we are . . . We are, therefore, I am