For those of you who have not encountered the Yorkshire saying “Ee by gum”, the” Ee ” is an exclamation of surprise, amazement etc and ” By Gum ” means who would have thought that ? or so I am told please inform me if I am wrong. For I appreciate an education.
Education is a founding slab on the path to adult-hood. Parents urge children to learn, teachers take up that challenge, the task at hand is to educate. We should all be appreciative of this should we not, through school, colleges and university I have been blessed to have experienced the influence of some amazing educators.
I remember Mr Watkins making us sit under our desks as we listened to him read “The Hobbit” , I would have been no more than 7 or 8 years old but pretending I was in The Burrow while he read, it was a genius approach. Mrs Astbury, she was the crazy English teacher in purple tights… but her enthusiasm exists to this day. Notes that she encouraged are scrawled in the margins of my first copy of “Jayne Eyre” I still choose to read that copy.
Just two of the teachers whose lessons stay with me. English, the language, the subject, the literature both an aid and a focus of the education they gifted me. That education sparked my enthusiasm for words and learning. I am lucky.
A lesson plan to teach the use of the internet to 11 year olds, springs to mind (apologies for no link but this is from memory). It was a cross curricular activity a comprehension piece followed with discussion time. The students sat in front of the computers and read a Wiki-style page detailing the danger that carnivorous snails were presenting. The snail colonies were spreading fast and awareness was required. Now at the top of the web page there was a disclaimer that this was fiction, but the flashy maps and use of language distracted the readers. When they sat on the floor to discuss their findings all the children believed that man-eating Snails could cause mayhem.
Don’t worry, we did not release a class full of snail-fearing youngsters into the world. No, we discussed the whole piece why they thought it was Fact. These kids all laughed when it was pointed out that even I could outrun a snail, so I wasn’t at all worried. Then the penny dropped, they began to question, to see out the truth and facts for themselves. I hope that still they question what they read, it is too easy sometime to look at the written word without questioning the motivation or the bias.
In the words of Peter Ustinov “what is education but a process by which a person begins to learn how to learn?”
Once we have grasped this, we should not let it go, it is a lesson that should drive us through each day with gratitude that there is no end to what we can learn. In the last few years my education shifted from literature to Metal. Thanks to a good friend, I was granted the task of teaching myself all about Rock. Yes he might have laughed a little when I could not identify Iron Maiden when it played on the Jukebox in the bar, but now I can reel off Bruce Dickinson facts, I own 3 Maiden Albums and I can even tell you what my favourite Motorhead track is.
E is for education in my A-Z, I am grateful that education is a lifelong challenge. Each day presents us with undiscovered knowledge, each person a lesson in their own way. Our education is endless I appreciate this and know that I need lessons in WordPress and blogging. If you have any gems to share that we might find helpful please share.