Thoughts on Teaching
By: Brad Cole

  After 26 years of teaching, I recently retired. So what lessons have I learned? I now believe in teaching good citizenship skills. We need to be taught how to live together to become a wholesome, prosperous people. But citizenship go beyond just behaving. It means standing tall on your own two feet and doing what is right, to stay focused on a long, complex project, of being able to see right from wrong, good versus bad, the real from the fake. These are important skills that need to be taught

  How well a people are educated determines much of their future success. The Humanities are important because it helps in our understanding of ourselves and what it really means to be human.

  This is why I support the Arts. Traditional culture is a reflection of our inner lives and a historic search for wholeness. We need to stand on the shoulders of our forebears by understanding their wisdom and vision. A community that maintains a healthy connection to its own natural environment and culture will see an increase in quality of life. Farming, hunting, fishing and local trades are a source of richness for communities, as they have always been. Democracies need a strong, self-reliant people.

  I have taught school in the poorest Native communities in North America. But they still know how to live off the land. They fear most not poverty but the lost of culture. That is when they will lose their way as a people.