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  • Writer's pictureDilmit Singh

The Art of Learning

“You have no idea how much you’ve meant to me. Never has any teacher inspired me like you.”

At the end of this pandemic-impacted year in education, I hope teachers receive messages from students that reflect sentiments like this one found in the cards that fill a very special box on my shelf. Debates over effective educational models prompted by school closures are compelling me to reflect on years spent as a classroom teacher. The relational aspect between teacher and student consistently emerges as a decisive factor for providing motivation and inspiration. Teachers who connect with students at an emotional level, are honest in their interactions, provide meaningful feedback, and hold students accountable even when faced with challenging situations, are the stalwarts that make learning happen in a school house.

In a distance learning model, how will teachers establish these relationships without being physically present to demonstrate the compassion, kindness, and care that students need to thrive? It is a question that is hauntingly present and lies unanswered as educators deal with other logistical issues of delivering content in a meaningful way despite physical separation. If the virtual classroom is able to teach academic content successfully, will the relational aspect of school become immaterial and will learning be superficial and inapplicable? Remains to be seen. As a classroom teacher, I knew that relationships were supreme and the passion for teaching is what ignited the passion for learning. Perhaps it is time to rethink the system and let learning and schooling become synonymous.

As a learner, what motivates and inspires you?

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Dilmit Singh
Dilmit Singh
Aug 18, 2020

I got so carried away by the topic of education that I forgot to mention the art! This piece was made by first tinting the wooden board with a varnish, covering it with gold leaf film, and finally sketching the image in preparation for painting in oil. Once the oil paint dried, I used the process of pouring resin to coat and preserve the gold leaf. Resin creates the glassy/glossy sheen that adds dimensionality to the artwork. This set of four pieces is my tribute to the three Rs.

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