- Nobody signed up to be a modern educator.
- We have to throw away the concept of measuring students and educators by numbers and instead, support them in healing first.
- We cannot positively impact a child’s intellect if the child does not believe we care for them.
- It is our duty to redesign the schools of the new century with love as the source of what we do.
“Our capacity to love
and loving energy has the capacity
to heal ourselves as well as others.”
– David Hawkins
And her sister died as well. That was the story that sent me straight to the hospital of life. I had spent a lifetime ignoring my mental health as my family raised me to be tough and take it. Everything around me was crumbling because I was neglecting the vessel that carries the actions of a labor of love.
When I sought professional help, I was compelled to think about other careers constantly exposed to trauma.
I learned about palliative care nurses and their empathetic love. The love that does not depend on the outcome but on making the experience as pleasant as possible.
I learned about the proper preparation police officers or army officials need to have to face the reality that is, statistically speaking, any interaction could turn into the difference of someone living or dying. The same for firefighters, who have to live an existence knowing that any workday could mean their tragic end.
I also learned the exact expectations we have when we attend a Freddy Mercury concert or the World Cup final—we expect no less than excellence. And regardless of a pandemic or not, the students and families we serve expect the very best from us at all times. The same way we are not concerned about how the dentist feels when they are cleaning our teeth or how the mechanic feels when they are fixing our vehicles is the same way the world sees educators.
Still, nobody signed up to be a modern educator.
Virtually any teacher living never imagined that they would have to redefine the education system. None of us knew that schools are now more like hospitals. Schools are like emergency room doors that open and close daily, receiving the same children with “who knows what is happening outside?”Virtually any teacher living never imagined that they would have to redefine the education system. Click To Tweet
Trauma lives in both wealth and poverty, and the truth is that a child performing great today might come tomorrow after observing their parents fighting. A child might be completely different tomorrow after a fender bender or after breaking up with their loved ones. A child is different the next day after being bullied on social media (and for this huge problem, neither educators nor parents are in control; tiny plastic screens are raising students).
Our dilemma, as a society, as a country, is that we continue to add frosting to a cake that in reality, we must bake again.Our dilemma, as a society, as a country, is that we continue to add frosting to a cake that in reality, we must bake again. Click To Tweet
We have to throw away the concept of measuring students and educators by numbers and instead, supporting them in healing first.
We need to build up a brand new education system where we concentrate in the humanity of the student. A student that consistently feels our loving attention is a child that will learn anything. And we cannot focus on the student’s humanity if we forget the proper support needed by the educator.
This proper support includes strategies on how to heal the heart of students. We cannot positively impact a child’s intellect if the child does not believe we, at the very least, deeply care for them (and ideally, love them empathetically).
When my father was on his deathbed, one nurse shared with me that he was in his last stages. She approached me dearly when she did this; she placed her hand on my shoulder and looked straight into my eyes. I felt an emotional connection with this individual because I thought she sincerely cared for my family and myself. That type of support of understanding our patients/students need is the type of professional learning our educators desperately need.
This is something that can be done, but we need you to do your part in continuing to spread this message of the need for learning new strategies to properly educate the child in front of us. We need you to bring this to your meetings and training. We need you to tweet, blog, podcast, and just plainly communicate about it. No change will ever happen if we continue imagining that education is to continue as it was before the pandemic.[scroll down to keep reading]
It is our duty to redesign the schools of the new century with love as the source of what we do.
This modern school where students learn to infuse wisdom and productivity will catalyze tremendous improvement in the quality of their lives.
This is something that we can do, because this is the new century, and we are the #pioneers.This is something that we can do, because this is the new century, and we are the #pioneers. Click To Tweet
About Efraín Martinez
Dr. Efraín Martínez is a father, husband, and the principal of Northwood Middle School in Highland Park, IL. He reflects and interviews luminary figures on his podcast Wisdom & Productivity. His one word is #improvement and he strives to do all he can to make a difference in the world.