Learning is fundamental…but it’s boring. Just like food, what’s good for you tastes terrible, so you have to choose between pleasure and health. Learning is like plain tofu on unflavored rice cakes, raw vegetables without the dip, gluten-free waffles sans syrup, a dry protein shake (yeah, no water), or licking sandpaper until your taste buds become so demoralized and refuse to ever grow back again. Life is all about choices, and this difficult choice we have to make about learning is the second most inconvenient truth next to that of global warming. Actually, only one of those is true (and inconvenient)…WAKE UP!
On this edition of the Bettercast, I had an awesome, high-energy discussion with Scott Palmer, a teacher in the Waukee School District, an instructor in their APEX (Aspiring Professional Experience) Program, and just a general education nerd with a passion for teaching and a mind that couldn’t help but fill the podcast with as much stimulating thought as his voice could possible verbalize in one hour, two minutes, and nineteen seconds. Meet Scott:
The discussion went a little somethin’ like this:
- 0:00 – Introducing Scott, aka Mr. Palmer
- 1:29 – I make fun of my sister to boost Scott’s ego (sorry, just joking…I love you!)
- 2:00 – Misunderstood math and Scott’s math geekery
- 3:35 – Waukee’s secret sauce and the APEX Program
- 8:00 – Helping students pick a major and/or career (and learning what they DON’T want)
- 11:40 – Traditional education vs evolving needs of today…answer the “Why?” and find a passion
- 19:50 – Internships and work-based experience is great…if you’re ready
- 21:00 – When you let students find a passion, they’ll run with it without needing the push
- 23:00 – All of us want to see our work valued for a sense of purpose (project-based learning)
- 25:20 – Having time to spend on a passion can make the “grind work” easier too
- 27:00 – Humans are natural-born learners; one only needs to facilitate that natural interest
- 29:20 – What else is missing from the current curriculum?
- 32:05 – My interesting story of picking a major for college (while tapping my pen too much)
- 34:45 – Alternative education vs the value of “getting a degree”
- 41:50 – Identifying the true knowledge and skill beyond the piece of paper (the degree)
- 45:45 – Current events and legislation…is privatizing the system a good idea?
- 50:00 – Is Iowa playing the guinea pig for a broader privatization of US education?
- 54:00 – Scott’s one-minute philosophy of teaching and other random musings
But don’t just take my summarized writing for it…press play (and WAKE UP)!