By David Amirsadri
In the global world of today, education is needed more severely than ever. It is of the utmost necessity to train minds to face and combat the problems of tomorrow. Students must, moreover, learn to keep up with the pace of change. After all, do not scientific breakthroughs occur each day? Politicians draft new policies with due expediency. Historic moments occur practically each minute. As global citizens, it is not only a right but one’s obligation to be involved in the rapidly changing world we live in, steering the trainwreck that is human civilization to a (hopefully) desirable destination. And along that perilous path, there is the necessity for mentors. For teachers. For meaningful people, ready to bolster the next generation along their way. We hold these to be truths at East Greenwich High School. It is a topic worth exploring. And so, on a particularly sunny Wednesday morning, I interviewed someone with very strong opinions on the subject matter.
In the first few minutes of our interview, Mr. Heath made one thing quite clear to me: the effective deliverance (and quality of deliverance) of education is very important to him. For him, the joy in being an educator lies in leaving a positive legacy. His desire to be remembered, he said, stemmed from his positive experiences with his own educators. Mr. Heath remembers his teachers and mentors. Vividly. Mr. Heath’s interest in education stems also from the toll that adolescence extracts from its hosts. A rocky period of much transition, he admitted to having had some difficulty during this time himself. The desire to help students through this period is important to him.
Prior to East Greenwich High School, Mr. Heath worked at Rhode Island College’s Health and Physical Education Department. During our interview, Mr. Heath informed me of his enjoyment of his time here at East Greenwich High School, and the reasons for it. Having always wanted to be a college professor, Mr. Heath finds Mr. Podraza and Dr. Mercurio to be fine educators. He also enjoys the foundation that East Greenwich High School provides, as well as its philosophy on education.
It’s also worth noting that Mr. Heath’s philosophy on education is a democratic one. He is an advocate of open, public education. He favours the inclusive approach versus the exclusive approach. We both share a distaste for the privatization of education. Progressive practice is also important to Mr. Heath. The question of “How can we improve education?” and “How can we tie current values into education?” are important to him.
Last but not least, I came to the realization that Mr. Heath is the type of person who learns even whilst not being a student himself. His teachers are, well, staff members for one, and students. From the former, he learns to improve the craft of being an educator. Also from the former, he learns professional practice. The art of teaching. How to make education more effective. The “soft skills,” Mr. Heath believes, deserve their own recognition. These are things the staff is particularly excellent at demonstrating. From the latter, he learns the intricacies of social skills. Students, he feel, demonstrate diversity on a macro level.
The topic of education is a broad one, and all the writings in the world are only broad strokes of the pen. My point cannot be overstressed: educators are vital to our future not only as a nation, but as a global society. Through his work, Mr. Heath works to further this noble cause.