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edu180atl: natalie sterrett 1.19.12

Last week, I read a quotation by Haim Ginott: “Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.” He was reflecting on the Holocaust, where educated men and women murdered millions of innocent people. But his words stuck with me today as I thought about education—about teaching.

Today, my math teacher gave me the opportunity to teach one of his classes. The kids were a few years younger than I am, but I still worried about how they would react. My math teacher simply told me, “Don’t worry. They’ll just be apathetic. Just like they are with me.”

Slightly shocked, several questions ran through my mind. Shouldn’t we care about what we’re learning? Shouldn’t we want to learn? Shouldn’t students become better people, more enlightened, and more aware through education? Shouldn’t we become more human? I realized that this is not always the case. Not everyone appreciates what he learns in order to grow as a person.

So today I learned that it is sometimes not so important what we learn, but that this learning makes a difference. That education has made a positive impact on each of us. That we have become better students and better people. And today, I learned to have a greater respect for the teachers that try so hard to instill in us this growth of character.

About the Author: Natalie Sterrett is a senior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. She enjoys reading and writing, and she loves riding horses.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kacey Michelsen #

    Great student. Great person. Great post!

    January 19, 2012
  2. patrick #

    Remarkable insight for a high school student- wish I had that perspective at her age.

    January 19, 2012
  3. I appreciate your candor, Natalie. Only when we begin as teachers, parents, and administrators to assess honestly the problems in education will we begin to discover the solutions.

    January 19, 2012
  4. tubram #

    Wise beyond your years in many ways my dear!

    January 20, 2012
  5. Vanessa Reid #

    Lovely, Natalie!

    January 20, 2012
  6. Thank you, Natalie, for facing the specter of alleged apathy with grace. I imagine the students with whom you worked know that you care about them as people, as young people, as human learners who will affect others. You address central questions for all of us. Thank you. As I consider your opening sentences, I wonder about the differences between education and training. If “education” means leading out (from its Latin roots), it ideally leads us out of ourselves and into the lives of others.

    January 23, 2012

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