Thursday, January 24, 2008

Speers on Einstein

While looking at my Bloglines RSS feed, I came across the 10 Golden Lessons from Albert Einstein on the education feed (More about Bloglines and in a later post). The opening and the quotes are copied from the post, but the thoughts about each are my own.


Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving - Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was an amazing physicist. He figured out so many universal principles and equations that he was way ahead of his fellow scientists at any point of time. But he is also remembered for another thing; a quality which made people call him a genius: his words. Prof. Einstein was a philosopher who clearly understood the laws of success and explained them like the way he did with his equations. Here is a list of 10 things out of the numerously wonderful things he had said; 10 golden lessons that you can put to use in your everyday life.

1. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

Boy this is typical of teachers, especially secondary. We always have to be the ones with all the answers and can never “make a mistake”. It is true that more inventions and innovations have comes from failures than ever came from success. Like the song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang says “from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success”.

2. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

No one remembers what homework assignments they did or did not do in high school. What we truly learn is what we remember and put into practice years after we graduate.

3. I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Hearing my 6 year old son talk about how something works is amazing; if I only had half the imagination he has I would easily reach my goals.

4. The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.

We have all seen farther because we stand on the shoulders of giants, but it is our passion and commitment that show in our interpretation of our reality.

5. The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

I do not think many teachers got into the profession to receive. We are givers by nature and need to keep that fire alive. It does not take much, every time I see a former student my passion for teaching is reenergized.

6. There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.

The old ½ full ½ empty debate. I do not think that you can always think the same way. Reality is that some days the glass is ½ full and others it is ½ empty. Life is all about balance even the way we live it.

7. When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.

On the days the glass is ½ full, dream of ways to fill it to the rim. Thinking and looking outside the box may you lead you down the path less taken.

8. In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.

In order to be an educational leader one can never forget that those you lead are teachers, so you must remain a teacher. Walk in their shoes, at least once in a while, it does wonders for your credibility, and focuses your own reality.

9. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

The rule in education are changing, and I am not sure they are done changing yet. We all have to work on and help each other in learning the rules. Stop talking about how the game use to be played and play new game to the best of our abilities.

10. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Intelligent people ask. Keep questioning yourself and others to find solutions. This will help you gain knowledge and analyze your growth. Teaching needs to be a reflective practice and one of the best questions to ask is how could it have been better.

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