Sixteen hundred years ago, Augestine argued that essence of a good life is choosing the right things to love and loving them well.
Education is one of those spheres where the heart is inseparable from the head. If students are going to succeed, they probably need to come from a home where they feel safe and secure, so they aren’t paralyzed by anxiety and fear. They probably need to have experienced strong attachments so they know how to bond with teachers and parents. They probably need to have been bathed in love so they have some sense of identity, some confidence about their own worth and some sense of agency about their own future.
Even within the classroom, the key fact is the love between a teacher and a student: the teacher’s willingness to pour time, attention and care into the student; the student’s desire to be worthy of that care and win affection and approval. Today many students come to school lacking a secure emotional base.
Paul Tough concludes that skills like resilience and self-control are not really skills the way reading is a skill; they are traits imparted by an environment. The most important educational environment is the one that surrounds a child in the first five years, when the emotional foundations are being engraved. Parents should practice distanced empathy—to hear their children when they are upset, and to guide them back toward calmness. Students are not motivated by financial incentives.
Teachers are now called upon not only to teach biology but to create a culture: a culture of caring criticism, so students feel loved while they improve; a culture of belonging, so fragile students feel their work has value. How to feel about their own feelings; how not to be swallowed up by moments of failure, anger and sadness, but to slow the moment and step outside the emotional spiral.
WE HAVE TO FORTIFY THE HEART IF WE’RE GOING TO EDUCATE THE MIND.
These aforementioned building blocks of learning should be experienced, by all, in the WORKPLACE as well. THE CREATION OF A CULTURE; THE CULTURE OF CARING, THE CULTURE OF BELONGING, THE CULTURE OF LOVE.
Ron Winnegrad has been a Perfumer and teacher for 46 years. As a perfumer, Ron has been able to express the world he sees through a rainbow of olfactive and emotive visions. As a teacher, Ron has helped others to see fragrance through his own multi sensorial lens.