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A Teacher's Philosophy of Education

Who are you? Where are you going? Is it a noble journey? These questions are posed at all times, in my classroom and out, since that classroom is a training ground for the real world. My purpose is to help equip people to answer these questions for themselves; it is also to fight a daily battle against ignorance and mindlessness, to lead people out of the dark of meaninglessness, purposelessness, drift, and over-indulgence... up a hazardous mountain where there can be gained the truth that makes them free.

My name is Hunter... Lebensjaeger: life-hunter, and Liebensjaeger: love-hunter (in the universal sense). I know who and what I am; I know where I am going; the journey, though one of great risks and pitfalls, is well worth the effort. I work to survive and flourish in a hostile and challenging environment, remaining enthusiastic and energetic ( most of the time). It is my chosen work to teach the individual how to teach himself/herself, to provide an environment in which to help the individual to do good work and widen his range of wholesome options in the present and future.


Enabling people of all ages and circumstances to discover themselves and their place in the world, and to assimilate growth skills that are useful and satisfying... is what I do as a teacher, guide, and change agent. By creating an environment (often under alien conditions) in which an individual feels comfortable, accepted, and willing to stretch and grow... by exercising my self as a wholesome and viable example, I set the tone for the joy of learning, for each individual. I show others how to teach themselves, and others, such that they can produce good work, become self-reliant and learn how those three questions apply to each of them within the group... as individuals.

Each person's strength and ultimate survival depend not upon an ability to manipulate and control, but upon an ability to harmonize with nature as an integral part of the holistic system of life. There is a law of nature that causes all things to be balanced; it says that nothing comes free, that all things must be paid for, that all wrongs must be made right.

Attitudes create atmospheres. A practiced instructor can create a tangible atmosphere of confidence in a classroom through direct outward projection from his own mind... of a conscious state of clarity and a feeling of calm. The current systems often work to negate the elucidative effect of such effort, unfortunately... just as an unresponsive and inanely resisting person can do... by projecting a state of confusion and unnecessary control. Without autonomy... it does become a battle. However, out of a good teacher's perception, an unusual sense of communication, and a straight and simple manner, come words and gestures and expression superbly suited to creating a strong feeling of confidence and an attitude of cooperation.

Once an individual recognizes and accepts the inherent valuable possibilities that can be achieved by doing good work (and you can not force someone to do this, nor can it be done through fear of authority or punishment), then one begins to establish his own clear sense of himself, his direction, and his value. He/she can then align himself with his own identity, and with the will and energy of his present life within a larger picture. He can then become aware of those with whom he has already associated and with those who are now a part of his life and work. It can then achieve a good change in one's thoughts, feelings, and actions. They can only be shown; they can not be forced.

At that point, the individual can answer these questions and become totally free. All apprehension and anxiety are gone. One loses a sense of "importance". There is nothing to be driven to do, or even to succeed in. I have not yet reached this point entirely... but I am going in the right direction.

PART TWO

There are three things healthy people most need (and want) to do, and education ought to prepare them for those things:
To act as spiritual beings, that is to say, to act in accordance with moral impulses... man as a divine being.
To act as neighbors, to render service (through good work) to his fellows... man as a social being.
To act as persons, as autonomous centers of power and responsibility, that is, to be creatively engaged, using and developing the gifts that we have been blessed with... man himself and herself.
In the fulfillment of the human being's three fundamental needs lies happiness. In their unfulfillment, their frustration, lies unhappiness.

I often have my students respond to introspective and philosophical statements; it is one of our daily thinking and writing exercises they enjoy most, because they are challenged and invited to think, to consider, to relate, to communicate clearly their response, through language skills. They are offered a knowledge of the tools with which to respond, and the freedom and opportunities to use those tools.

The choice is theirs, and the capability is theirs (once they realize it, and are willing to work and exercise these skills).

Ponder these statements:
There can be no joy of life without joy of work.
Laziness is the sadness of the soul.
Just watch a bit; if you get too many useful machines, you will get too many useless people.

So how do we prepare young people for the future world of work? First, we must prepare them to be able to distinguish between good work and bad work, and encourage them not to accept the latter. In other words, they should be encouraged to reject meaningless, boring, stultifying, or nerve-wracking work in which a man or woman is made the servant of a machine or system. They should be taught that work is the joy of life and is needed for our development, but that meaningless work is an abomination.

What about a person's soul and spirit, in addition to the nourishment and good health of his body? How much of educational thought goes into the development of his soul and spirit? Education for the sake of leading them out of the dark wood of egocentricity, pettiness, and worldly ignorance. Call me a fanciful dreamer, but I have thirty-four plus years of effectiveness to prove otherwise; the working person needs work for the development and perfection of his soul... his spirit, his energies. "It is not as if the artist were a special kind of man; every man is a special kind of artist." This is the essence of good work. It is my chosen direction to help others recognize this fact, and activate it in their own lives, often against great odds.

Traditionally, our ancestors knew the wisdom of good work, but our materialistic scientism/ technology look at this concept with contempt. Who can afford to do good work now? Modern systems leave no room for spiritual guidance or design, thus wantonly creating conflicts and confusion in all people so conditioned.

Education for good work, then, can begin with a systematic study of traditional wisdom (not pap or pedantic, boring, useless dogma), but the source from which are to be found the answers to the questions "what is a man? Where does he come from? What is the purpose of his life?" The goal then emerges and there is indeed a path to the goal; in fact, there are many paths. The goal is described as "perfection, wisdom, understanding, fulfillment, happiness, enlightenment, harmony, balance", and so forth. And the path to the goal? Good Work! "Work out your salvation with diligence." It's so simple and pure in its essence that it is also exciting and motivating. This is what individuals need... a wholesome sense of exciting, motivating possibilities that will lead them to personal fulfillment in life. That's what I offer, and work for. And it is good work for Hunter; it works for me!

"Invitation"
Give to me a moment
Of your time, dear kindred soul,
And I will show you mysteries
Of life as they unfold... An invitation granted
From the messengers of light,
Where man is but a welcome guest
Evolving while in flight.


Article Source: Diana Hunter McGuerty


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