"Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things."--Jefferson

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Excellence is Transformational

A friend just shared this with me:

"I believe that work of excellence is transformational.  Once a student see that he or she is capable of excellence, that student is never quite the same.  There is a new self-image, a new notion of possibility.  There is an appetite for excellence  After students have had a taste of excellence, they're never quite satisfied with less; they're always hungry."  --Ron Berger

I think doing something excellent is the most transformational, but seeing others doing things excellently is also beneficial.  I love the positive classroom format in Vanguard that allows for that.  I've had experiences myself during class seeing another's great work (usually one of the students!) and thought, "I could do that too if I put my mind to it."

(I looked up Ron Berger - he wrote a book called "An Ethic of Excellence."  The reviews are good, looks like I need to add it to my ever-growing "to-read" list.)

Great talk about TRUTH!

What is truth?

One of the central focuses of Vanguard is the earnest pursuit of truth.  I stumbled across this gem of a talk that covers it beautifully: 

Dieter Uchtdorf talks about TRUTH

(It says it is 55 or so minutes long, but, with the introduction and ending by others, the actual talk is only 30 minutes long...it was engaging enough that I listened to it twice with lots of distractions and still loved it!)
In it, Elder Uchtdorf says: "The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it."

A few other tantalizing gems:

Part of the reason for poor judgment comes from the tendency of mankind to blur the line between belief and truth. We too often confuse belief with truth, thinking that because something makes sense or is convenient, it must be true. Conversely, we sometimes don’t believe truth or reject it—because it would require us to change or admit that we were wrong. Often, truth is rejected because it doesn’t appear to be consistent with previous experiences.
He then gives a couple of fantastic examples in history and in the scriptures where people rejected truth for the above reasons...examples that can really hit close to home!

Excellent and a must-read for those open-minded enough to pursue truth! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Scholar Phase and Class time: Validation from TJEd for Teens

Objective of scholar phase and importance of learning tools:
"The purpose of Scholar Phase isn't to complete your learning, but to so immerse yourself in the habits of great learning that you keep using them to solve problems, improve yourself and your conditions in life, and to help others do the same for the rest of your life.  That's Scholar Phase." (pg 80)

Developing the habits of great learning is difficult.  It is important to remind them of the tools that can help them in scholar phase: the 4-R's, sharing, accountability, mentoring, etc.  These are an essential part of Vanguard!  Sometimes it is the process that teaches almost more than what is actually being discussed, especially as the youth are younger.  When they are older, they are able to actually use the tools to better educate themselves and share what they are learning.

How wonderful to be discussing truths and things of lasting importance as they are learning, so they are able to get both at the same time, unlike "exercise books" that have meaningless examples for which them to practice the tools they are learning.

Purpose of Class time: Inspiration!
"The purpose of class time in great education is not study, but rather 1)inspiration, 2)answering questions, and 3)more inspiration." (pg 82)

Vanguard is such an ideal set-up for letting the youth use the scholarship they are learning in their private studies while at home to inspire their peers and be inspired back :)!

When is it good to be wrong as a mentor?

I think being real is so important as a mentor!  It not only makes you relate-able, but also allows you to be taught by those you are mentoring, among other things.

This article by Rachel DeMille I saw this morning gives more of those great reasons to be a humble mentor!

Of course, the biggest reason to be humble is because then God can more easily mentor you and those you are mentoring, and, as my dear friend Michele Smith said, He is the best and truest mentor you can have :).