Lessons from Nature

The Himalayan mountain range is an incredible attribute to our Earth that carries for nearly 1,500 miles in length and includes Mount Everest that is more than 29,000 feet high.  This Earthly attraction brings a variety of folks together to for a myriad of reasons.  Some of the folks interested in this landscape include scientists, philosophers, spiritual leaders, adventurers, and many others, because it is an environment that can help in the quest for epistemology.  This learned natural truth can be transferred as analogies to many different environments.  A story about an experience in the Himalayan mountains, for a moment, will fulfill the desire of an adventure for a remote audience.  Speakers with this life experience have the ability to colorfully and effectively maintain engagement of an audience.

Teachers should use their experience outside of the classroom to maintain effective student engagement.  If you have not experienced some adventure, then read about another person’s lessons.  For example, Swami Rama wrote a book titled, Living with the himalayan masters, and discusses how more than forty years in the this extreme environment has impacted his life.

I like how Rama opens this book with describing the name “Himalays.”  He states, “The word Himalaya comes from Sanskrit words: hima, meaning snow, and alaya, meaning home – the home of snows.”  If snow could talk they might call the Himalays home.  It is a natural place for snow to develop and remain all year do to the temperature, pressure, elevation, and other conditions that allow it to remain and dwell, much like a home.  This got me thinking about education.  What would call our classrooms “home?”  In other words, what effectively & naturally, if it could talk, would call the everyday classroom home?  To use it in a simile The Himalayas are to snow as the classroom is to ______.

Would learning or non-learning call our classrooms home?

Would teaching or non-teaching call our classroom home?

Would socialization or antisocial call our classroom home?

Would character development or poor ethics call our classroom home?

What conditions do our classrooms create for these philosophical concepts to call home?

I hope that your classroom is a place where the former statements can call home rather than the latter.

Dr. Nathan Herzog





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