The other day I was digging through some notebooks in my drawer, and I realized how many of them had notes about education. Each page I flipped through warped my sense of time passing.
Though some of them were 10 years old, the notes felt like they were written yesterday. Not because the ideas themselves were the same, but because it made me realize how much space education has occupied in my mind throughout my life.
In high school, I remember hounding any teacher that was willing to to my woes about how I'm not learning enough. At university I would go to professor office hours to try and understand how things could be better. My dreams often involved running my own school—heck, I gave that as a response when asked what my ambitions were during a job interview. The job was for a marketing role, and the interviewer was very confused.
When I completed my higher education in design at an alternative school, my goal was to not only study design but to study the school. In Montreal, I experimented with ways students can engage with education while gaining professional work experience. Then I was fortunate enough to have the chance to become a lecturer of Creativity, Innovation, and Critical Thinking. Though I taught that class for years, I never once repeated the material. For better or for worse, I couldn’t allow myself to walk into a new semester without refining the course. There was always something to learn about how we teach, and the class could never be perfect. Students are always changing, and as instructors we need to adapt.
Those notebooks are full of everything that I have experienced and learned throughout this journey. Yet even today there is still so much to uncover.
Education is one of the greatest opportunities people have to discover themselves, and change their status in society. Done right, it can be the greatest enabler—and yet as a society we have done so little to master it.
Reading my own handwriting, I realize how much I can still improve in my most recent experiences teaching. I realize how much I wish there were more resources, networks, and tools for instructors who want to try and push the boundaries of their craft.
Despite thinking about this subject for over 15 years, I still feel so incredibly far from any good answers to how we can make big strides in education. But I’m glad to see that throughout my life, I have never lost track of education’s importance.