As a senior in college I heeded the advice of a close friend and signed up for a class titled “Philosophy of Education” taught by Parker J. Palmer, who, although I didn’t know it at the time, had authored many best-selling books on education, including “The Courage to Teach”. I was studying cultural anthropology. Latin American studies, and environmental studies, but thought that I might very likely end up working in the field of education.
It was the first time in my 16 years of formal education that topics of love, vocation and spirituality were presented as subject matter to be explored through discussion, experiential activities and personal reflection. As a 22-year old, I was concerned with the questions of “who am I?”, “what do I stand for?”, “what do I believe in?”. I wanted to fall in love with the world, and to foster meaningful relationships. I left college and moved to Central America to work with students on field research seminars in Guatemala and community-based tourism initiatives in Costa Rica.
Two years later, I found myself at Dragons all-staff Orientation and Training in the Eastern Sierras of California and knew that I had found a community practicing the kind of education I believe in. An education that highlights the unique authenticity and potential of each individual, that teaches to process, and that focuses on cultivating meaningful relationships through which knowledge and understanding are developed.
Now, in my eleventh year of working with Dragons, I’ve transitioned into a role focused solely on the translation of a “Dragons Education” to the practice of “Global Education” at independent high schools and colleges across the country. At the essence of both of these worlds is the art of fostering meaningful relationship between our students and the world around them through intentionally crafted, and carefully guided experience.
We sincerely hope that however your journey unfolds in Jordan, that you come away with a felt understanding, and increased skill-set for what it takes to support your students as they engage the questions of who they are, and why they matter. We believe that if practiced with intention, this approach to Global Education will give space for students to cultivate a world of empathy and respect seven generations into the future.
Thank you for all you have done, and for all that you will continue to do as Teachers in your respective journeys.
You have so much to look forward to!