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Who's At The Wheel?

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Unless I am mistaken, I think it is the heart that pumps blood to the brain so that the brain can function properly. If that is the case, how did the brain get a hold of the keys? And another thing. Why is the heart riding shotgun, when it clearly should be the one driving?

I think it is safe to say that students and educators are more stressed and more overwhelmed than ever before.

Who let the brain wrestle the keys away from the heart?

Stop for a moment and think about your schedule, your students’ schedule and your children’s’ schedule. Is most of the time dedicated to filling the brain or is most of the time dedicated to feeding the heart? If we are honest we know it is not even close.

Now I realize I am an idealist, and I also am aware of the fact that the entire day can’t be spent in Circle Time. But I do believe that we could tip the balance a little bit more so that the heart gets some attention. Currently we are witnessing the effects of not giving the heart the attention it needs. The attention it deserves.

We are so determined to fill our brains that our hearts are atrophying right before our eyes. Our brains are the vehicles, but our hearts are the drivers. We mustn’t forget that without the driver, the car goes nowhere.

Unfortunately, right now I see many vehicles, but not many drivers that are road ready. In fact, I am worried that if we don’t start giving the heart the attention it deserves we will begin seeing junkyards full of abandoned cars with no drivers in sight.

Just for a moment, stop and think about the best part of your day. The part of your day that look forward to the most. Now tell me who’s driving. Your heart or your brain? Don’t be fooled. Just because some of our best moments may take place at school, that doesn’t mean that the brain is driving.

I understand that we must educate our children and give them the tools they need to be competitive in an ever-changing world. I get that. I really do. But, I also know that when I look around at those people who are happiest and those people who are most successful, I notice that they are folks that are led and driven by their hearts and not their brain. This is no comment on their mental capabilities. They are each and everyone brilliant, but it is their Heart that got them where they are today.

We don’t need to change curriculum and we don’t need to abandon the Common Core. We simply need to start cultivating our students’ hearts and teach them that it is their heart that will get them where they want to go.

We can start by taking advantage of every single moment that our students are with us. We can start by opening up and exposing ourselves just a little bit more.

And more than anything, we start by handing the keys back over to the heart. It’s time for the brain to ride shotgun.



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Jon is currently the assistant principal in Dorchester County, Maryland. This is his seventh year serving as an assistant principal at the elementary level. Prior to becoming an administrator he served as a Math Coach and an elementary school teacher. During his ten years as a classroom teacher he taught first, second, fourth and fifth grades. During his sixth year teaching he earned Nationally Board Certification, which he held for ten years. For seven years he ran a Young Gentleman's Club that was aimed at helping young men reach their full potential.  

Jon received a B.A. from Furman University while majoring in Philosophy. He later went on to earn his B.S from Salisbury University while majoring in Elementary Education. Jon was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to student teach in New Zealand. He eventually received his M.A. degree from Salisbury University in Public School Administration.

Jon lives in Cambridge, Maryland with his amazing wife and two awesome children.

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Guest Friday, 22 March 2019