Sunday night, Paul and I (and a few other teachers) went to Olympia to hear Chris Mercogliano speak and read about his experience as long-time director and teacher at the Albany Freeschool, the nation’s oldest independent, inner-city non-coercive school.
It is always inspiring to hear from people who are spending their entire lives devoted to education. It’s hard to travel this road alone. This decision to spend our days in the classroom is not just a job. It’s a way of making change for the future, it’s the only path we know, it’s our entire life. And it isn’t easy. Banding together keeps us going stronger in the face of the mediocrity in education all around us. And to be the guides for our children to learn a new way of being in a world that often places importance on all the wrong things. Hearing others talk about their path in education, helps keep us inspired and our minds and hearts open. I always want to be able to hear our kids and allow them to guide us down their own path, the one that begins and ends with the them and what they want from this life.
“What if we could raise a generation of children free of race and class prejudice, free of an over dependence on material things as the basis for the good life, and free of the belief in the necessity of war? And what if society were to begin embracing education as a process that encourages learning for learning’s sake and enables children to develop fully and authentically?” ~Chris Mercogliano