Today was Labor Day. The weather was perfect. In fact, this has been the best Labor Day weekend in recent memory. I enjoyed every last drop of summer on the Cape. As I look back on the weekend, one of the nicest things I did for myself was taking the time to read Joe Biden's book, Promise Me, Dad. Much of the book was incredibly inspirational but one page struck me.
Biden started to talk about celebrated MA politician, Tip O'Neal and his belief that "all politics are local" Joe countered that "all politics are personal." Immediately, I saw the connection to education. Education, if it is to be effective at all, must be personal. Education, like politics, is dependent on the establishment of trust. It, too, is about building personal relationships. It is about having goals and objectives and moving to achieve what you set out to achieve in the beginning. But more importantly, it is about welcoming a kid into a classroom and making that kid feel like he or she belongs. It is about working with that kid to create a space for learning and unearthing what is most important to him or her. Finally, it is about working with that kid to accomplish what is important to him or her. It is about trust and it is about building relationships. Education is personal.