All About Love by bell hooks was incredibly inspirational to me. In the picture are just a few quotes that really stood out to me in that book, and that was a quick drawing I did (that I should really make look better soon) of bell hooks.
“Honesty and openness is always the foundation of insightful dialogue.”
“To love well is the task in all meaningful relationships, not just romantic bonds.”
“Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but needs not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands.”
In terms of education:
I think love is something we often forget about in educational settings. Perhaps this is because it’s scary to talk about love, especially since we only have that one word for all types of love. When we speak of teachers having meaningful, loving relationships with students it automatically makes many think of inappropriate, sexual, and/or not consensual relationships. We’re so terrified of teachers crossing that line with students that we completely take love out of education. Love. As hooks’ quotes M Scott Peck in All About Love, love is “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” Isn’t this what we want to do as educators? Nurture student’s growth?
Honesty and openness. Insightful dialogue. It’s the truth, the best conversations and most insightful ones come from honesty and openness. Educators should strive to allow their students to be honest and open. Not punish them for it. And in turn, educators should be honest and open with students. This doesn’t mean saying truthful things that you wouldn’t be comfortable with (the argument I hear often for not being honest with students) but instead it means being honest and open about being uncomfortable. State how you feel, why you might not engage in certain conversations. Non violent communication definitely comes into play here.
The third quote, about wounds marking us, is something I am incredibly thankful for my high school ‘teaching’ me. I put teaching in quotes because you can’t ‘teach’ a lesson on it. You can’t expect everyone to understand at once. Instead, the teachers who were a big part of my life in high school helped me through conversations and support to realize that yes, we all have wounds and yes, it hurts and it’s hard, but we allow what those wounds and marks become.