The Building Blocks of Education

You come and paint the school and we provide a second coat of passion.

This was today’s quote from the head of maths at Happy Valley School – part of a school visit undertaken by some of the volunteers today. It was heartwarming to see the joy the children have for learning and their complete love for simply being at school.

However, equal to this was the dedication and work ethic spoken about from the teaching staff who are part of the MERP programme (Mellon Educate Results Programme). It was very clear that to just teach was not enough. To be a teacher for the private sector means results, results which aren’t necessarily driven by government run schools because ‘the pay cheque is coming regardless.’ A very gregarious science teacher confirmed this by admitting that before she joined Happy Valley, she went in, taught a class and went home. Now, she starts early, creates her lessons to suit every individual – and regardless of their levels, ensures their education need is right for them. She gives more time and gets more from doing so.

When you combine this kind of commitment to teaching and promoting the value of learning, not just for a child, but for a whole community to see – you are achieving success, because it is measured and there is a need to put out what has been invested in.

As Mellon Educate continue to deliver both the MERP and build new schools like on both our sites this year, it has been very clear that the bricks and mortar can only impress the future of the children if there is excellent teaching within them. It has been very striking how the level of respect, the desire to learn and the gratitude for receiving an education fairs compared to home. We experience an aim to produce targets and a syllabus back at home that is repeated year after year….children miss out on the inventiveness, resources and imagination of a teachers true desire to transfer knowledge and whilst there are exceptional teachers and schools, they is a distinct rise in teachers leaving and pupils disengaging.

Many teachers at home entered their profession out of their love for learning and inspiring young minds. Their subject matters being the driving force to create the next generation of scientists, sportsman, entrepreneurs or artists. If that professional becomes squeezed by targets and outputs, or children are made to fit one level, one way of thinking, then surely their enthusiasm and love to teach becomes slightly crushed and education becomes a thing of routine, over a desire to seek knowledge?

What has been profoundly obvious here in the Mellon Educate schools is that teachers work creatively and are active in how they shape the children’s learning. Of course it is measured and great results are expected, but it is a shared effort, with the children, building a community that invests in education because it can change lives, shape the world and improve, inspire and infect the next generation to want it too.