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Teaching vs. Educating -- Hmmm?

A friend of mine from Italy sent out a message in Facebook. Roughly translated, it says:

"Phrase of the's a lot easier to teach than educate...because all you need to teach is knowledge...instead to educate it's necessary other words lead by example."

Before I received this post, I had just been privy to the most successful Red Ribbon Week I had ever experienced as a teacher. I was thinking that my first graders were able to express why they did the odd things they did like wearing red on Tuesday, weird hair or hats on Wednesday, mismatched clothes on Thursday and PJs on Friday. They were taught wearing red on Tuesday created a united front against drug abuse. What they did on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was to promote being happy with themselves despite appearing different. PJ Day was to show everyone that you could be comfortable in your own skin (PJs). Again, the bottom line was to create a united front against drug abuse.

The reasons for each of the dress themes were broadcasted on the morning show by the school principal. The teachers not only taught his message, but participated as well. When the teachers, administration and staff participated, I believe it gave more credibility to the message to be drug free. The grown ups’ zany costumes helped tremendously to drum it in. It is indeed one thing to teach and another to “lead by example.”

This Facebook message could not have come at a better time.

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