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Monday, March 29, 2021

Teacher Tom: The Pursuit of Happiness

Teacher Tom: The Pursuit of Happiness
The Pursuit of Happiness

I've asked thousands of parents the question, "What are your goals for your child?" It's something a lot of us ask at the beginning of a school years or when we are first getting to know a family. Far and away, the top answers have been some version of, "I just want my child to be happy," or "I just want my child to love learning." These are the answers I expect, especially from first time parents. 

The good news is that their children already love learning, they were born that way, so no problem there. Our only job, and it's made far simpler by a play-based curriculum, is to do no harm.

Happiness is, of course, another matter. It's the only emotion that tends to disappear the moment you become aware of it. It's a tricky, personal, and ephemeral thing, something we spot in others, but when we ourselves are happy we daren't look directly at it. It's like those phantom movements in our peripheral vision that Icelanders say are the "hidden people" (Huldufólk), elves and fairies and whatnot, who flee when you turn their way. Because of this phenomenon, Aristotle asserted that the only way humans can ever know if they've lived a happy life is in hindsight, from the perspective of our CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: The Pursuit of Happiness