What resonated particularly for me was understanding how to adapt different learning styles and strategies into a lesson plan, as well as how to combine content-based learning with skill acquisition and development. I couldn't help but imagine a mosaic in my mind. An educator is a scientific artist using a lesson plan to craft something beautiful for the benefit of learning minds. Such a person must be able to teach a student content about asthma, for instance, but also must think of ways to teach a skill, such as group cooperation, or note-taking or reading comprehension. I can only imagine the amount of creativity, thought and long-term planning must go into each lesson plan.
Then I thought about my own relationship with education and the types of learning I had been exposed to over the course of my life. My thoughts specifically went back in time to when I was a secondary school student in Nigeria. Learning takes on a very different form in this part of the world. Resources to teach students were quite minimal, especially in government schools, which was the type of school I attended. Classes, even at an early age, were seminar-style. Students were assigned a particular classroom, and teachers cycled through. There were no extra resources to engage in activities. Education was reading, writing, and regurgitation intensive. It seemed teachers were not taught to incorporate experiential learning into lesson planning. Learning was very content-heavy. While all this may seem bleak, to be truthful, Nigerian students all over the world excel by leaps and bounds in other educational systems, as we have become accustomed to some of the most disciplined and rigorous forms of learning. And I have had the privilege of navigating both worlds - figuratively and literally.
(Oh! And I hope you like my word cloud! I designed it myself on wordle.net by word-farting the 100 words that popped into my head, using education as a theme! Too fun!)