Love of Learning at Riverdale Country School

I love that people are discussing the reasons and ways we educate children. The New York Times magazine on September 18 features Dominic Randolph whom I have loved listening to and talking to at Riverdale Country School about how children can become global citizens and good stewards of their gifts and passions.

I know one purpose of school is to develop a student’s thinking, but what about developing a student’s soul? Is school responsible for that? As we grow up, we all have to hit life’s curveballs. To do that, it’s more important to have resilience and relationships than high test scores and awards.

Don’t get me wrong — I love being an intellectual. But I don’t always love going through life with brainiacs. For example, I have one extended family member who delights in correcting others. He’s not the most fun to be around or the one I turn to when I need encouragement; and he’s not the one my kids run to when they’ve not seen him for a while.

The family member who gets the biggest hug is the one who is human, who listens well, who is quirky and artistic, who acknowledges mistakes, who shares a passion for learning, who lays on the grass and looks up at the sky, exhausted from a family soccer game. (And their grandmother — they love her too. Simply because they know she loves them.)

As a teacher and parent, I have to share with my kids what I consider important — compassion, a passion for learning, a global perspective, and a commitment to hard work.

I have to take the time even when I am busy. Like many New York parents, I am way too in love with the rush of achievement. And I probably convey this to my kids.

I also love being a good citizen, taking out my ear buds; listening to the breeze and shooting the breeze. I think education is about that too.

I’ve written about Dominic Randolph a few times on my blogs —

About what makes for community https://mbcoudal.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/what-is-community/

And how I was blown away by Randolph’s advice to eighth graders:  http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/good-advice/

I hate to admit it  — because then it would seem I am all about achievement and not simply about sharing my passion — but once again, I have scooped The New York Times. If you read my blogs, Dominic Randolph is old news to you, but if you read the New York Times magazine this weekend, you can discover even more about Randolph’s thinking about a Riverdale education, of which, I am a huge fan.

Check out the article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html

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