I sometimes have brainstorms about technical solutions to make the bureaucratic aspects of education more efficient and meaningful. I call these “edtech puzzles”. But when I sit down at the card table to put together the puzzle pieces, I often get stuck wondering “Is this puzzle worth the effort?” I wonder if my little time-savers and shortcuts are where I should really be focusing my energy. Do they help me build relationships and transport me and my students toward bigger goals? I have journeyed on the thought tracks pondering methods to assess my own ideas by comparing the estimated input cost of developing and teaching a new tool or procedure against the estimated impact of the tool. But these routes are merely spurs that always lead back to the main line on which this train of thought chugs into the terminal station asking, “What are my big goals in education?”
Many authors have written about the critical value teacher-student relationship hold in education. I certainly agree that is one of my “big goals”. Relationships build trust. Relationships give us knowledge of students’ backgrounds. Relationships open our being to transformation. I needn’t resurrect a phoenix that has already risen on the wings of others’ good writing. My concern is what do we do with those relationships? If we succeed in building a positive relationship with students, we have made ourselves vulnerable and accepted the responsibility of faithful stewardship of students’ trust in us.
Without a lot of to-do, I humbly offer these big goals for education as what we could be doing with the relationship we develop with our students:
Today's thoughts come to us from Mr. Christopher Blinn. Christopher teaches students with special needs at Richmond High School. He enjoys working with those who are developing their vision for life after high school. Outside of school, Christopher parents a four-year old and a two-year old with his wife Kate. He enjoys cooking, biking, gardening, and tea.