Throughout the years, there have been many convincing arguments for humanizing education. The benefits are endless, from better classroom management to stronger academic results, to even building a more impactful school culture.
In the world of teacher well being and self care, there is another argument that should be discussed in any conversation surrounding humanizing education. It creates a more comfortable, engaging, and intriguing classroom for you as the teacher!
Consider the typical structure of a humanizing education. It includes:
- Constant meaningful dialogue
- Teacher-student student-teacher relationships
- Commitment to compassion
- Learning that involves prior knowledge and student experiences
- Narrative driven approaches
- A valuing of each individual and their contribution to the collective knowledge of the classroom
Connecting Pedagogy to Your Well-Being
People often ask why I dedicated so much of my pedagogy to aspects of humanizing education. When I would rattle off the logical, research based reasons, many would push back.
I constantly endured conversations where teachers would advocate for dominating the classroom, not allowing students to talk, and certainly not valuing their experiences in the classroom. They would claim their approach works just as well.
That’s when I began bringing in the teacher wellness perspective. The logic is simple: Wouldn’t you rather spend your day in a room centered on empathy and dialogue?
As teachers, we can be our own worst enemy. Our classroom structure can create a place of conflict and chaos, which makes our own day harder. Our job becomes less satisfying and more stressful with every argument, disciplinary action, or lengthy lecture we give.
Humanizing Education: Your Place of Peace
A focus on humanizing education creates peace and calmness to your day. You find that classroom management becomes dialogue and engaging stories. Your curriculum turns into a co-exploration with you learning alongside your students. Even parent conferences become community building opportunities and partnerships.
With that foundation, it becomes easier to maintain your wellness in the profession. Class time becomes relaxing, which allows you to mentally prepare for and unwind from the stressful moments of your career.
You will also find the reciprocal value of investing in students as they invest back in you! They will support your professional growth, cheer on your passions and endeavors, and genuinely encourage your happiness.
Apply a humanizing education and reap the benefits of a more fulfilling career in teaching!