Education & Love #lovelearning

Isn’t it strange that when we’re descending in the depths of despair love sees us through.

I’ve been feeling disempowered, disenfranchised, demotivated and somewhat jaded about my work, teaching and learning for a host of reasons… they are actually not important at this moment because in picking up a book to put onto the library data system I found  my ‘love’ and my whole perspective has changed.

I’m feeling empowered again, motivated and upbeat and here is the reason why.

Thank you Steve Wheeler…

I bought this book for the library. It’s written by Steve Wheeler. It has the subtitle “Educational Theory and Practice in the digital age”.
learning with e's

Every morning, I spend some time in my habitual quest for new knowledge, learning and becoming reading new books, searching the internet for new thoughts and ideas on technology, learning and teaching. Today, I decided to put Steve’s book onto the library data system and began reading the foreword.  After the second paragraph started I jumped to the internet to find this “Wheeler” guy…

What I found was so exciting that I just had to share…

I discovered,  a new blogger who blogs about “learning with “e”s. Technology and learning.
I’m very interested in this topic, as I am busy with some research on the digital practices I use in the library and their impact on reading motivation, reading attitudes and time spent reading with the hope that these practices will eventually develop life long readers and therefore life long learners.

I then went to Steve Wheeler’s blog and browsed – perfect timing for some long weekend reading I mused.

Whilst browsing on Steve’s website and came across this post

What’s love got to do with it?  That struck a chord as I have a blog with exactly the same name as this post. Yes, I thought I believe in love and yes I know that love has everything to do with everything… even teaching and learning.

Then I discovered 3 more posts on love and teaching and learning – what a way to start the day!


Post 1. What has love got to do with it?

There are also several other posts linking love to learning. A blogger after my own heart.

Post 2. Everlasting love

Post 3. The Power of Love

Post 4. All you need is Love

Truly a great teaching, technology and learning blog by a man with a heart of love for learning.

Try it?

You will be transformed  – but then isn’t that “what love is all about”?

Thank you, Steve Wheeler you have made my day and set up my weekend…


Love + Discipline in Schools?

Jonathan Jansen has written an article in which he declares that, “[love] is the missing variable in the school change literature.”

He says ” What we found interesting, though, was the symbiosis that exists between love and discipline.” Love is itself an enabler and thus a form of discipline.

So here is the rub.
Teacher’s say that they are there to teach and parents and the home must be the seat and the foundation of love, but Jansen says that his experience in schools, has shown him otherwise.

A caring, loving school environment in Jansen’s opinion, is one that also has discipline – rules, regulations and expectations that are required to be met. This discipline eventually becomes internalised by the students.
“Where discipline is preceded by and couched in love, children respond positively.”

A loving environment makes the discipline easier to accept on the part of the children and easier to instill on the part of the school management and teachers. The love extends beyond the day to day tasks within school into the life fibres of each and every child. It becomes the very culture of the school… resulting in a school that works.

Teachers don’t have courses on love.

Perhaps we need to heed the call of Leo Buscaglia who believed that love is the best behaviour modifier of all. He believed that teachers need to love what they do and get excited every morning about getting to school and wanting to help those children in their care. We need to “look at them”, relate to them, care about them…”

So what is education?

Education is not just teaching. It is about allowing those you teach to become the best human beings they can be and it’s about believing and investing in them, for both yourself and them. It’s about risk. It is about believing in the children, about expecting the very best from them and seeing their best in amongst their worst.
This is teaching with ‘love’. Teaching for life.

After all, “the purpose of life is to matter, to count to stand for something, to have it make some difference that we have lived at all…Happiness comes only when we push our brains and our hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable… Leo Roston”


Teaching … what has love go to do with it?

Teaching is all about self-concept?
Our self-concept determines who we are. What we think about ourselves, what we can or can’t do and ultimately who we become… it is that powerful!

How is your self-concept?

Give some time over to a bit of self-reflection and see if you can remember any experiences that supported the formation of your self-concept. Time with your mum, dad, grandparents, teacher, friends…

Teachers next to parents are the most powerful people that ever cross our lives.
Do you know the poem by Dorothy Law Note “Children learn what they Live”?

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If he learns with hosltility,
he learns to fight……
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love……

With what is your child living?

Ask that question of the classroom climate that a child spends from 5 to 8 hours a day in?

In my view, Teacher’s need to enable children to feel that they are “OK”, that they are loved.

In fact if we look at our lives both teacher and taught, “our lives area shaped by those who love us and by those who refuse to love us” John S.J. Powell

Do teachers love and teach or just teach and refuse to love?

In my view, Teachers need to take good care of developing a positive self-concept within themselves so that they can develop a positive self-concept within each child that crosses their path.

Goethe said” In all things we learn only from those we love..” and Kahlil Gibran said” the teacher gives not of his wisdom, but rather of his faith and lovingness…”

So what has ‘love’ got to do with teaching?


A teacher quoted by Everett Shostrom in Man, the Manipulator said…
“I had a great feeling of relief when I began to understand that youngster needs more that just subject matter.
Oh, I know mathematics well. and I teach it well. I used to think that that was all I needed to do. Now I teach children, not math. I accept the fact that I can only succeed partially with some of them. I have found further that my own personhood has educable value. When I don’t have to know all the answers, I seem to have more answers than before when I tried to be the expert.
The youngster who really made me understand this was Eddie. I asked him one day why he thought he was doing so much better than last year. he gave meaning to my whole new orientation. “It’s because I like myself now when I’m with you,” he said.

Love is everything in teaching!

all you need is love


Loving reading, books and libraries…

At some point in my teaching career there was a natural gravitation towards books, reading and libraries. I am not entirely sure how it came about, except that I remember my then HOD went off to get married and I took over her position. My honours focus had given me a firm foundation in the teaching of reading, with both gifted and remedial students, now here I was, running a small foundation phase library for English second language learners. What a privilege it was learning how to make reading come alive, using multi-media teaching techniques like puppets, music, drama, art, reading aloud etc.

I remember that I delivered a paper  on these techniques  in Abuja, Nigeria. I also delivered a paper at an IASL Conference at the ICC in Durban on the same teaching methodology.

I remember that I changed the library boxes into alphabetical order according to author to take the students a further step into book knowledge and facilitate their use of a public library in some later point in their lives….

My love for libraries though did not start there… I remember always having my own public library card. Being able to go to the public library and choose a book each week was the highlight of the week.  But it did not start there either……

It began with my grandfather, who ordered weekly magazines for us from overseas… from Tennisson & Burrows, a Bookstore in Town – Durban’s CBD.  Each week us kids, took turns to go in with Grandpa to town by bus, to fetch the magazines, have a lunch of pie chips and gravy and then catch the bus home again, to curl up on the bed or the livingroom couch with our mag…. The earliest recollection I have of mine was “jackie” a teenagery-type magazine with stories, band photos, dating tips, grooming tips etc…..

I lived for this reading material…….

I also remember my Dad never being without a book… whether it was a Louis Lamour western or a Valiant comic or the newspaper or the race card, he was always reading…. at the dining room table. 

I am fortunate to be a librarian:

 instilling in little ones the love of books and reading. Seeing their faces as you share stories with them.

Having special library days, library sleep overs, celebrating Roald Dahl’s Birthday, Shakespeare’s Birthday, World Book Day, Readathons and many more….

Discussing with seniors their best reads and motivating those hesitant readers or non readers to dip into a book by sharing tasty titbits with them. Starting up a book club with eager young adolescents….

I am also now a grandmother and I like nothing better than jumping up onto the big kingsize bed with Esme and hauling out a new pile of books and sharing them. With her…… turning the pages.  With her saying “again Nana!” With her saying “what about this one Nana?”.  What a delight! This is love transferred…..

Being passionate and in love with books and reading is in itself a marvellous joy but sharing this passion and love with young and old alike is the ultimate in being a librarian.  There can be no better thing than to talk about books at an assembly and to have an eager face arrive at your library counter/door and ask to know where that book was that you spoke about……… nothing could be sweeter than that!

Today libraries are under serious threat worldwide, Technology is seen to be replacing the age old treasure we call ‘the book’. TV, Kindles, iPads and even cell phones are the new books. 
Parents don’t seem to have the time to take their children to the library…….. to share that love of reading and books.  To give them the experience of smelling, feeling, touching, hearing, seeing ‘a book’. 
This is indeed sad and one wonders whether the children of the future will eventually live in a bookless world? A love lost!