Are you beautiful?
And how did you become beautiful?
And what does beauty and the varying perceptions and concepts of beauty have to do with learning?
Perhaps beauty too is a learning concept, one that twirls around through the ages, re-inventing the different values and images of being beautiful for different audiences.
Having watched this short clip a while ago, I kept on thinking about how teachers are so over-stretched with admin demands and the imposition of busyness which is not related to the real task at hand - educating. Learning about our students, creating meaningful lessons which resonate with them. Getting caught up on the hamster wheel of teaching schedules, pointless meetings, even more pointless PD (e.g. how do you punish students? - Yes. An actual example at an institution of Higher Ed in the UK very recently). I could go on. I won't. Teachers everywhere understand what I am referring to. While education continues having budget cuts, pushing teachers to the state of burnout seems to be the norm.
It doesn't have to be like this. When teachers have their own agency, are empowered as active educators, and are given time to reflect on lesson planning, integrating topics which resonate with learners becomes more realistic.
So back to the start: Are you beautiful?
It may begin with a compliment, a smile, a gesture of empathy.
Integrating empathy, kindness, shared and broad values of beauty in the classroom does not require a radical change in the curriculum. All it takes is time and giving learners the opportunity to discuss beauty, whether real or ideal. Discussing kindness to others and giving compliments, whether it is culturally acceptable to them (i.e. learners) or not. Facilitating discussion on social integration and inclusivity. In such an angry, divided world, shouldn't learners be given time to think about perceptions of inclusivity and kindness?
Learning To Give is an interesting site for teachers; skills and knowledge development which fosters a culture of caring, respect, and purposeful inquiry among students. Learning To Give also offersfree, online courses for educators .
Some of the courses include:
"Understanding Philanthropy (history, framework of democracy, nonprofit careers)
Service-Learning Practice and Projects (service-learning, reflection, raising philanthropic kids, project ideas)
Using Website Resources (getting started and using different resources and lessons on the site)"
Empathy and inclusivity.
Why not begin with a compliment a day?
When was the last time you received a compliment?
When was the last moment you gave a compliment?