In My New Book The Ethical Coach Leader, I Note That Early In My Career I Was Suffering From A Problem Of Misunderstanding.
I really thought that teaching was simply a matter of imparting information to someone else. As I say in my book, I had never learned the lesson of caring for those who were in trouble or for being aware of signs of trouble in my friends. I wish that I had known then the useful wisdom imparted by Aristotle when he said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
Since then, I have learned much more about the way our hearts and minds work. I have learned that we do not learn just in an academic sense but also through our feelings and our emotions. Our hearts will learn to deal with situations if we just take the time to listen and put ourselves in the situations of others.
When you want to learn something, it is very important that you go through a process known as internalization. This word means that you take something and put it inside your mind and your heart so deeply that it becomes a part of you. This means more than just memorization, however. It also means making cross-references to other things you know or experiences you have had so that your mind can call up this information when necessary.
Our minds are not exactly like filing cabinets, although we tend to think of them that way. Instead, they are more like an intricate web of cables crisscrossing each other over and over again like a spider’s web. Also like a spider’s web, when a memory triggers one section of our brain, the corresponding waves moves through the web to generate connections to many other memories. This is why we move from eating donuts to remember our Grandmother’s kitchen and the smell of baking to thinking of our Uncle Jack and his juggling act!
Similarly, our emotions are also tied up in our learning experiences. We will remember for many years a teacher who touched our lives because every time we recall something we learned, those emotional colors will appear again in our memory. It is important as teachers and coaches to remember that we must ingrain in our students a deep love for learning, and this is best achieved by touching all aspects of our students’ lives: mental, emotional and spiritual.