My first Christmas as a teacher, my parents gave me a nicely matted picture frame holding a quotation from 19th century social thinker John Ruskin. Yes, I’ve written education philosophies, personal creeds, and teacher mottos for classes and projects, but none of them grasp the romanticism I find in teaching as Mr. Ruskin’s words:
The entire object of TRUE EDUCATION is to make people not merely to do the right things, but to enjoy them; not merely industrious, but to love industry; not merely learned, but to love knowledge; not merely pure, but to love purity; not merely just, but to hunger and thirst after justice.”
There it is. “Hunger and thirst after justice.” If that doesn’t put a teacher on his soapbox, I don’t know what will! Sometimes we need to close the textbook, put away the worksheets, and tell our kids about hunger and thirst.
The frame now hangs over my desk in my “curricularium” at my home.