Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
Education is defined as the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction (Merriam- Webster’s dictionary, 2003). My ends as an educator are to give my students instruction toward their intellectual, social, economical, and political knowledge.
What I mean by intellectual knowledge is developing important skills and becoming a life-long learner. This is valuable because a typical person will only spend 13 to 18 years of their life receiving systematic instruction through an institution. There is an abundance of truth to the words written in the book, I Can Read with my Eyes Shut, in which Dr. Seuss (1978) says,
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
A person who fluently reads and writes enjoys learning new things; the possibilities for them are endless. I want my students to have the ability to acquire and apply both knowledge and skills.
What I mean by social knowledge is enriching personal growth and developing community responsibility. This is valuable because many people find confusion in the process of figuring out who they are and how they can be a part of their community. Inspiration and guidance can be given to assist students toward understanding social responsibilities and the impact of the choices they make. I want my students to have the ability to participate well in society and organizations.
What I mean by economical knowledge is preparing for employment and understanding their role as a consumer. This is valuable because we do not know what the future holds for us. Schools today; educate the employees of tomorrow. Yet, we are unaware of what tomorrow includes. Basic employer skills and the understanding of one’s role in our economy, I believe are beneficial now and to the unknown. I want my students to have the ability to give significance toward their career and be sensible in relation to money, time, and effort.
What I mean by political knowledge is embracing democracy and acquiring citizenship skills. This is valuable because it is important to prepare our students for their active role as responsible, informed citizens in a democracy. It is advantageous that our students are given a voice, and then empowered to use it. Franklin D. Roosevelt said,
Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.
I want my students to have the ability to take interest and knowledgeably contribute in the government and public affairs of this country.
In conclusion, my ends as an educator are giving my students instruction toward their intellectual, social, economical, and political knowledge. Not in preparation for life, but for life itself.