Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Magnetic Learning

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[Part 1 of 3 in an attempt to create a meaningful essay response to the Friends’ School. “Why are you drawn to the field of education?”]

Attraction
Creative Commons License photo credit: Scarygami

Learning is the magnet which draws me to the field of education.  It’s that simple.

I love learning.  I love helping others learn.  My passion is connecting people with resources and contacts that facilitate their own learning.  Big people. Little people. Age does not matter in the context of learning, as much as willingness does.  However, children have a natural curiosity and that makes them joyful travelling companions on the road of life. They stop to notice a weed growing out of a sidewalk crack. They are open to new ideas and even welcome them.  They question everything. The world is their oyster… and I love to share it with them. Through a book.  Through a website.  Through a global connection. Through a conversation. Through living alongside them.

It goes without saying that I enjoy children.  I have four of my own, whom I cherish and respect.  They’re amazing people.  Children are amazing people.  Which of those terms is the most important? People.  These young learners are people- with their own opinions and ideas, and they will construct my future.  I want to be able to help them construct theirs by encouraging them to be self-directed learners.

Equally important  is what repels me.  As a field, education is not so much about learning anymore.  It’s about test scores, standards based report cards, and poorly used technology. I don’t relish the idea of shoving authentic learning aside in order to meet particular goal.  I don’t like marching students down the hall in straight, quiet lines. I don’t like having students sign-out of a classroom to go to the restroom.  I don’t like giving homework. I don’t like reports sent home for saying silly words.

I’d rather learn.  I’d much rather have willing minds ready to explore the world. That’s what draws me to education. Learning.

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