As you might expect, Holistic Educators face many challenges in today’s complex educational environment. Yet I didn’t encounter folks stressed or pessimistic about their efforts, their schools, or their future. So where did all the joy and laughter come from during these interviews? Even though we explored many of the challenges, I walked away from each recording feeling light, alive, and unreasonably happy.
So as I listened to the recordings of our conversations while editing, I selected comments that might reveal the secret to the joy that they shared. In the end I believe I caught a glimpse of the secret.
Debbie Millon and Marni Binder told of knowing that something was missing and that something *needed to be found. They went back to school, sought Holistic Education colleagues, risked money and job status and seniority. I find it compellingly interesting that their fields of engagement are so different. Debbie is Head of School at Wingra; Marnie is both a professor at Ryerson University and teaches art through holistic practices.
That diversity of interest and expression can be seen everywhere in Holistic Education. Most see the importance of parents and parenting. Our very own Josette has taken this as her vocation. Like Debbie and Marni, she knew she had to reshape the understanding of the possibilities in parenting. Amazingly, parents who engage holistic child development can access greater cognitive and emotional understanding. The surprise: beyond that, they can also access wisdom. Wisdom-based relationships in families—amazing.
There there’s Jack Miller telling us of his 12 years working with students and administrators in the frozen north of Canada as a laboratory in which the need and possibility of Holistic Education appeared. Phil Gang credits the inspiration and much of the material for his film Educating Eco-Sapiens with creative revelations that came to him as he grieved the passing of his adored wife.
As for me, this sense of knowledge and its attendant joy have been in my bones for the whole of my life. Circumstances eroded the barriers; expression instantly followed.
This is just a taste of some of the educators you will meet when listening to Meetings with Remarkable Educators.
And the secret? I guess my italics have given it away. There is great joy in connecting to a feeling of deeper knowledge of what is needed. That joy somehow includes a willingness to engage challenges as opportunities and the courage to fully live life.