Here we are at the end of another school year, and once again, teachers throughout the USA are facing uncertainty. Congress has not acted and now the impact of sequestration on federal educational programs is beginning to take hold.
At the highest metaphysical level, my teacher was right: It takes no effort to be free. But interestingly enough, this spiritual freedom is of little help to me now as I face one of the most challenging decisions of my life. As life is so full of paradox, so is enlightenment.
Despite the loud voice of the National Rifle Association (NRA), scholars, experts on school safety, and teachers overwhelmingly disagree with turning schools into armed camps rather than places of nonviolent positive learning.
Large urban districts face huge challenges in terms of funding, urban pathologies, and the indifference of people who do not live in them. However, there is a structural problem that inhibits their progress, I believe.
Cesareo Pelaez was a psychology professor at Salem State College (now Salem State University). I met him in the 1980s when I was a psychology major at Salem State. Placed seemingly randomly under the wing of such a unique individual, my life was and remains forever changed.
True teachers show us that it is possible to wake up and be free, but ultimately the truth is already within each of us and can never be given by another. Through meditation we connect to that inner guru, to the brilliance and radiance of who we truly are.
Better education leads to a better life. We need new ways of teaching for a new age. That includes new technologies and a focus on global citizenship, which is the defining feature of our increasingly interconnected world.
Many things have changed about teaching over the years, but one thing that doesn't is the nervous energy and enthusiasm that teachers have when the first day of school arrives. That is especially the case if you are a first-year teacher.
The man who stood at the entrance to my New World was my first English teacher, Ernie Kaeselau. He passed away recently, and though I hadn't seen him in decades, the news of his demise left me unexpectedly bereft.
My school is in a formal School Improvement process, with loads of money from various sources and hard deadlines for real improvements in attendance, discipline, graduation rates and student test performance. And we are improving.