Not My Education, Not My Problem. How Taking a Back Seat Can Really Be Delaying Change.

In our podcast on education we talk about how it currently stands, its shortcomings, and its great potential as we navigate through this age of digital information.

I share my experiences and tales from the classroom. While my experiences are my own truth, I am sure others have had different ones.

If I had to give an honest account of my own reflection on the podcast, it would be one of remorse, because even though I am still in education, I am no longer in the classroom because of life choices that involve moving to another state, not being accepted as a “homegrown” teacher, and then moving again in hopes of finding my place. While these moves have given me and my family a greater cultural experience, they have hindered the projected career path that I thought I would have.

Living and working in three different states, I have observed that our education system is broken. Saying it’s broken only states the obvious, though. How do we unlearn it?

Not only is it broken, but the heartbeat – the why we do what we do – is broken. Legislators talk about budget, classroom size, and teacher salaries. Yet we seem to be going in circles, never really changing the original focus of mass-producing a graduating class intended to be factory workers.

And as the factory jobs continue to move overseas, graduates are pressured to go to college and earn a piece of paper with their name on it, only to move back into their parents’ basement hoping for an opportunity at an unpaid internship.

But the human race is resilient. People find ways to overcome. Take the rise in social media stars for example. They are a prime example of people finding something that Marie Kondo would say, “sparks joy,” and turning it into a livelihood. Not only marketing their talents but often times marketing themselves as a brand to make a difference.

I wanted to take this time to apologize to the viewer, whether listening to the podcast or reading this blog, and take my own advice…

If we want to succeed in the future we have to be able to ask questions of ourselves, of others, and have a practice that is centered around reflection. After my own internal reflection, I let my personal experiences outspeak my epoch voice. The voice that says there’s a hope for a future. A voice that says, I am a creator and attract everything in my life for good.

ask questions quote

I am deeply broken from my personal heartache as an educator. I love teaching. I love making a difference in children’s lives, but through my own choices, I am currently not doing that.  

During the podcast there was a moment when Matt, my husband, and I had what might have looked and sounded like a disagreement. While he was a gentleman and moved on without a scene, he followed up with me afterwards, because that is what relational beings do. Take note of a conflict, give it space, follow up for a resolution.

On the surface, I did not accurately communicate my point. My point was that in my educator experience, I have had to continue my higher education quest and obtain more certifications to be technically qualified and
continue working in the same position. Insert Matt’s point about a gynecologist performing heart surgery (His point makes sense, what I said did not).

I do not feel I would be living an Epoch life If I didn’t address what that interaction looked and sounded like to the viewer. And for that I ask for your forgiveness. Part of this journey is living, learning, and growing. Matt and I are perfecting the art of intense fellowship and will continue doing so. It is my personal goal to set an example to couples who can work through disagreement and come out the other side better for it.

Now back to the original, scheduled topic 🙂

I say education is broken because at the heart of the matter my heart was broken by this system. It’s part of the reason, I responded to Matt the way I did.

It’s the system that said, whatever you do is never good enough. Work harder. Work more. Spend your personal money to ensure you have the right materials for the children whose lives you are desperately trying to improve.

The system is broken for now. Change is on the horizon. We see it in the way teachers unite and strike for higher pay, more professional development opportunities, and lower class size. We see it in the way teachers embrace technology and children continue to learn despite it all.

While it’s easy to focus on all the wrong in education, we can focus on the fact that if we invest in the generations to come they will invest in us (the ones who lived before the internet was created). On a personal note, I can focus on the fact that I get to make a difference in the educators lives who make a difference in children’s lives. I get to voice my concerns in an organization who takes those concerns to a state legislative level and sparks change.

Education might have some missing pieces at the moment, but there are great models out there. If you are a parent, look for programs that encourage child voice, self-directed curriculum, social emotional learning, and life skills. I recommend models like International Baccalaureate or Montessori. I also recommend fellow Epoch blogger Kat’s blog for adaptive learning tools as well as Evolving Parent by my husband, Matt.

Lastly, but certainly not least:

From Grace, Truth, and Love: I write…

Once I was taught that I would grow up and be something for 30 years.

Do and then die.

But I didn’t want that.

My flame burned brighter,

Until I decided that I was created for something more.

To solve something greater than me.

Something that would make people better.

Looking at the current situation gets harder.

I cry for those who suffer.

For those whose story I know, but can do nothing about.

Because I know this power within me can change it, but it also whispers not yet.

It doesn’t matter, the truth remains, that until the individual decides nothing can change,

In their life and the world around them.

To you I say, I love you.

And I want you to live in the grace that I operate in.

changing education
About the communicator
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Jennifer is a wife, mom, educator, writer, dancer, and house plant enthusiast. Her life mission is to work smart to make people smarter.