Q: WyzAnt wants to know:
What is your favorite quote about education and why does it stand out to you?
A: One of my favorite quotes has always been:
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -William Butler Yeats
I think, a lot of time is spent in traditional public school filling pails, thinking about how boring it is to fill a pail, or staring at the classroom clock - hands clearly moving through honey - wondering how long it will be until you can go do something truly interesting.
I wish more schools would focus on lighting a fire within the hearts of students, rather that forcing them to memorize and regurgitate facts and figures, and do well on standardized tests that really don't test actual knowledge, just the ability to do well on standardized tests.
I also feel that if teachers were allowed to take the time to work with their students, and were empowered to make choices about the direction each classroom period takes, they could truly engage each student - individually and as a group - to continue to learn outside of the classroom. Kids hate homework. Why? Because relevancy is rarely shown, and the average kid hates doing things that don't make sense.
I volunteer at my local library, helping out in the Job Help Center, and tutor in various subjects on WyzAnt, and whenever I'm helping someone with anything - whether it's computers, photography, job searching, you name it - I'm hoping that each interaction makes a difference. Whether it's seeing a tutoring student clearly improve over time, or hearing back from a patron who was able to find a better job, it's always a good feeling.
So, for me, one of my daily challenges is to try and improve the relevancy of each interaction. I don't just hope that this will happen, I read books, talk to successful people, and continuously practice. To me, being a WyzAnt tutor allows me to take my knowledge and share it with others. If I can share this information in relevant ways, that allow them to improve their own knowledge and skills, I feel this can improve both comprehension and application.
To me, helping people increase comprehension and apply knowledge, is one of the most rewarding things we can do as human beings, and I believe that this is what is meant by "lighting of a fire."