In last week’s Wellness Wednesday, we identified that the primary purpose of a traditional school and teacher was to be a transmitter of information. However, as 21st century students encounter this experience, they are sending American educators a clear message that something else is needed. In a variety of ways, they are calling for a revolution in their school experience.

Colby, a student from Minot, North Dakota, is one of many voices calling for such a revolution:

“We go to school five days a week for nine months a year from the ages of 5-18 and when we graduate, we don’t even know who we are and how to make ourselves happy and deal with many of the problems that we are inevitably going to face throughout our lives. I’ve heard so many teachers and administrators tell us that they are trying to prepare us for what’s ahead of us but in my opinion, I’ve learned more in this one semester in my Top 20 class that has prepared me for life than in any other class. It’s not even close. This class is invaluable, and it ended up being so much more than I ever thought it could be.”

Fortunately, Colby had a teacher who was addressing his need for a revolution and guide him and his classmates to discover power they had to make amazing things happen in their lives.

Colby was not only in a Top 20 class; he had a Top 20 teacher

Although Top 20 teachers may share information with their students, they know that their purpose is not information but transformation. Their focus is on the human development of their students. Rather than having a purpose of transmitting information, a Top 20 teacher’s purpose is skill development and truth.

Skill Development: Colby and his generation will experience incredible success and meaning in their lives if they develop specific habits. A few of these include reading, listening, resolving conflict, seeing things differently, valuing differences, and being able to function as a team. These are some of the essential skills that Top 20 teachers help their students develop.

Truth: Colby and his generation also need to know the difference between fact and opinion. They need to know how to discover the truth about themselves, others, and the world in which they live. Top 20 teachers guide them to this discovery by helping them clarify beliefs that are true and beliefs that are false. For example, although all students have intelligence, many do not believe that is true because they compare themselves to others.

Reflection: Recall your experiences in elementary, middle, and high school.

  • What percentage of things were you being taught that were essential for your human development and future?
  • What were you never taught in school that you needed to know or develop?
  • Did you ever experience a Top 20 teacher? Who was that and why do you consider him or her a Top 20 teacher?

From Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who became Top 20 teachers for their students with a purpose of transformation.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training