How to Change Education

How to change education

Introduction by Rob Hansen, Headmaster, at the Pathfinder School to the PathFunder Gala.

Rob Hansen Pathinder School Traverse City

When a child is born into a family, everything changes for the better:

  1. Better for the parents
  2. Better for the community
  3. Better for the world.

In that child the brain and heart form a sponge of wonder, curiosity, exploration, experimentation, and expanding relationships.

We are born wired to learn

There is caution and reliance balanced with adventure and resiliency. There are glorious mistakes, struggles, emergence which all leads to the discovery of new capacities and new possibilities for living.

To live is to learn.

No learning.

No life.

We are meant to live, embrace the challenges and celebrate the successes that we encounter along the way, and we are meant to do that as a community of learners, in collaboration, interdependent, and not in competition.

It is designed to be a wild ride: different for each and every person so that a spectrum of talents and interests can move the world onward.

Invest in a Child

Childhood is the most important time of a life, PERIOD. It is the foundation upon which the entirety of our path is secured.

It is not just about acquiring skills and knowledge ordained as important by prior generations. It is about setting the attitudes that will be guide each person’s unique approach to others, to respect, to kindness, to passion, to contribution, to purpose.

You are here to bring value and purpose to childhood, the foundation of life. There is no greater impact than can be made with your generosity than to support childhood, learning, and therefore life itself.

[Our school] Pathfinder aspires to be a distinct and important place for childhood; part of the foundry for a meaningful life. A place only preserved through the generosity of our supporters and their passion for the goodness we can bring to the community.

What More Schools Need

When you support Pathfinder you are supporting:

  • A place where exploration, curiosity and wonder IS the curriculum.
  • You are valuing thinking, making, teaming, and communication as the outcome of learning.
  • You are championing the preservation of play.
  • Enabling small, responsive classes.
  • A place where every day holds a new adventure.
  • An experience embedded in a sacred wooded and watered campus.
  • A place where parents are not kept out of the building.
  • A place where personal growth is not measured with bubble sheets
  • Where sameness is not mistaken for fairness.

Where children are asked to think and contribute and invent, not to recite and follow and retreat.
Where hearts and brains grow by trying NEW things.
Where teachers are creative instead of scripted.
Where schooling is embraced instead of endured.
When children want to be.
Where they are valued, and recognize value in each other.
Where work and joy are synonyms.
Where we seek wings of many colors.
Where young people emerge eager to serve, confident to lead, and open to learn for the rest of their lives.
To live each day forever.
This is so much more than a dinner, so much more than a party.

This is the most important work in the world. And good work is good fun. You are important tonight. You anoint the future with your kindness. So let’s make this happen tonight.

You are here to be heroes.

So Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of all the families, past and present, who have championed this school with their imagination, hard work, leadership…
On behalf the generations of families whose journey was improved through our school and camp…
On behalf of the faculty, past and present, who dedicated their life’s energy to the mission of education and created the personality of the school.
On behalf of alumni, who through childhood found their path, and launched forward to lead exciting lives on a foundation of self-confidence, wisdom, boldness, creativity and enthusiasm
And especially on behalf of our current students, who bring their curiosity, kindness and dreams to campus every day in hopes of learning something new or helping someone else.
I thank you for being here tonight and every night and making the Pathfinder School possible.

Why This Matters

Joe’s Comments:

Rob’s speech resonated with me as a parent, therapist, and community member. Whether you have kids or do not, I believe that we need to seek to improve our education system to align with the diversity of learning styles. We love Pathfinder, and we hope you can find a school in your area that can help your kids reach their fullest potential.

Here’s a video from the evening:

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