Being Blog

Demand Better, Be Better

Joan Chittister_quote

For the past four days I had the chance to work at an education conference with 400+ teachers from across the state. It was really very inspiring to get to witness educators talking so passionately about what they do and taking time out of their vacation to learn more about their profession. The conversations ranged from design thinking to experiential learning to peer mentoring, but the underlining piece of it all was doing their job in order to demand better for their students.

It was very hopeful to hear them speak about giving students more voice in their educational experiences and letting them determine the problems that they want to solve versus being told what they have to learn. If we work to teach students how to fail and to take chances and risks from a young age – how will that affect them as a adults? If kids are taught how to create their own path within their educational experiences, then they will be better prepared, with more tools, to create their own path as an adult.

I’m grateful for the experience of watching educators be clear about their passion for their work and taking the time to demand better for themselves, their students and our educational system.

So much of Chapter Be is about people’s individual be stories, and the decisions they made to get to the point where they were able to create their own path in life. Yet, reading Sr. Joan Chittister’s quote was a good reminder that we also have a duty to think about our “being” as a community/nation/world. It is more challenging to work toward being your true self in a society that does not embrace you as a unique individual. The work on yourself and the work of creating a community/nation/world that is better is parallel work – you need both to be able to work together. You need both to be in a simpatico relationship – building each one up along the way. Part of the work is looking outward. Looking to see how you can make the outside world better, so that you can have a effective inner world.

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