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Intelligence plus Character

mlkI am truly blessed to have a job I love. Teaching small children is something I get up every morning excited to do. Of course, I love a good snow day (maybe tomorrow!?) like every other person who gets the day off. I love my holidays off. However, I rarely spend the entire day disconnected from my job or my calling. 

On this day of observance for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, I always refer to this quote regarding education. I have a feeling that Dr. King was not just talking about school education. Life education, teaching each other who are willing to learn, adults doing more listening than arguing, speaking to each other without the labels and barriers……what better way to teach and learn to think intensively and critically?

But let’s take this back to school education. I’ve often said that my job as a kindergarten teacher is to “teach kids to be nice people”. Yes,  I teach this age how to read, count, add/subtract, explore, question, etc. And at the age of 5-6, these kids’ brains are working overtime to develop a conscious, empathy, a sense of morality, compassion, etc. These things are taught by example and experience. Being kind is learned by watching others show kindness and experiencing kindness. These skills and other character skills are just as important as learning phonics skills. A compassionate child becomes a compassionate adult. We desperately need more of these people in the world today.

I really wish I had been around to hear Dr. King’s words as an adult and educator. He truly loved teaching and his words should stir the passion in all of us in the teaching profession. Thank you, Dr. King.