The prime challenge of the deep teacher may be to recognize that each student in the class, although on the surface has signed up to embark on a study of a particular subject, is really on a profound personal journey.
The development of in and out of class opportunities for learning will either enhance or retard the individual’s journey. So often, a teacher feels that the outcome of a learning experience is out of their control and influence. I do not believe that this is so.
The inclusion of the steps outlined in this chapter will almost assuredly result in some level of change on the part of the student, particularly because of the inclusion of creative arts and personal reflection on one’s relationship to the natural world,
Educators of today face challenges unprecedented in the history of education. Overcrowded classrooms, inadequate facilities, and increased demands to move students through the system are but a few of the obstacles facing our teachers.
Add to these burdens the fact that the world is changing rapidly, and the situation can seem overwhelming at best. Education began in the U.S. as a means to get farmers into factories, and standardized, mechanized, and linear modes of teaching became the norm. Today, however, there are very few farmers, few factory jobs, and the very reason why we educate is less clear and focused.
I have developed an approach to teaching and living that assumes that we must face and embrace the bad news in order to fully appreciate the beauty in our world and to be motivated to preserve that beauty. This approach also involves improving our personal health and connection with our body. How can we appreciate that changing our consumption behaviors will result in improved health from fewer toxic substances in our world if we are used to not feeling all that great anyway?