Dear Teachers (and Kids)

Dear Teachers (and Kids):

I have big dreams for education and I would like to share some of them with you. Hopefully, one day, our educational system will be able to meet the needs, wants, desires, and passions for all involved. I want your educational experiences to be successful beyond your wildest imagination.

So here are my wishes for you and all the wonderful educators you encounter along the way:

1. Treat your students like your own kids

My wish is that your teachers invest in you as a person in order to make your learning personalized rather than standardized for everyone. You are an individual and unique. You are not a test score or student ID number.

2. Cultivate curiosity

My wish is that you are allowed to always embrace your creativity and that your teachers foster that natural curiosity within you. Curiosity is at the heart of all impactful learning. Curiosity is the foundation of innovation. Curiosity drives our world to improve.

3. Purposeful technology

My wish is that you harness the power of technology in profound and unimaginable ways. I don’t know what technology you will be using (because most of it hasn’t been invented yet), but hopefully, you will be guided and directed in how to use it purposefully and effectively. Technology has the ability to connect everyone, everywhere, at anytime. Use it to your advantage.

4. Make school relevant

My wish is that your teachers help you see the connections and relationships between school and the world around you. School should not be an anomaly from the outside world. It should be intertwined with real-life applications to further your engagement and learning.

5. Allow kids to be kids

My wish is that play will be a part of your daily routine throughout your educational journey. Play may look different as you get older, but it allows you to experience joy, build self-confidence, release stress and tension, and let your imagination to flow limitlessly. Keep playing, it’s the greatest joy in life and keeps our mind fine-tuned for learning.

6. Explore and cultivate passions

My wish is that you are allowed to explore the things you are passionate about, and that those interests be cultivated by the educators you encounter.  We were not all designed to enjoy the same things.  If we are only learning ideas and concepts that somebody, somewhere arbitrarily decided was appropriate for an age-level, then we are failing our students, including you.

7. Fail often and fail gracefully

My wish is that you have amazing examples of educators and role models who aren’t afraid to try innovative and crazy teaching techniques to help you grow as a learner, to the point that they might fail in front of you. Failure is not a bad thing. In fact, you can’t do anything worth doing without at least failing once along the way. It’s not about the failure, it’s about how you respond to the failure that matters.

8. Reimagine school

My wish is that your school looks and acts vastly different than schools of the past. School is no longer a place where a teacher has to disseminate knowledge from the front of the class, on only one subject, while students sit passively in rows in complete silence. Learning doesn’t always happen by sitting. It doesn’t always happen by listening. It doesn’t always happen by taking notes. The great thing about learning is that you can’t confine it and hold it down. Learning can happen anywhere and at anytime.

Learning is diverse. It’s organic. And the love of learning is one of the greatest things an educator can instill upon you during your journey.

Yours in learning,

Nathan (Dad)


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