Why Equal Parts Education?
What is in a name? A lot, when you are setting up your own education business and going it alone! I chose Equal Parts Education, which is an abbreviated form of “Equal Parts…dark and light” because, whether you take the whole quote or just the first two words, it sums up my inclusive approach to education and the aims of my company.
First of all, ‘Equal Parts’. At the heart of what I do is the attempt, through education, to redress the imbalance of an unequal society. I know this is not unique to me and my company, it is true of thousands of teachers all over the world, but it is less true of an English education system that looks to maintain the status quo, reward only the successful and marginalise or write off anybody that doesn’t fit or has an alternative view. So, with Equal Parts you get the same high-quality educational experience (teaching, training or coaching) whoever you are, however you turn up, where ever you live and whatever your current label may be.
What about ‘…dark and light…’? Well, forgive me for getting a little esoteric but the day-to-day complexities of a young person’s life offer us a paradox – within the ‘golden whole’ of a child’s unlimited potential is contained dark and light. The skilled teacher develops a relationship to connect with that whole, yet to be realised, untapped reservoir of greatness within and draw it out – with regular reference to the light as encouragement. But children are not perfect – they are human and just as they regularly have good days and present their light, plenty of times a bad day can present the dark. For some children their life experience means that the light is obscured, diminished or even hidden. Sometimes in school a bad day can escalate into something really serious and result in isolation or even exclusion. At Equal Parts, we avoid labels and for all children accept both dark and light as the imposters they are. We refer back to the golden whole and the unlimited potential of the child and get students back on track by warm-heartedly reminding students that we believe in them.
For children, every behaviour is a chance to learn and grow whether it is outrageous success or bad mistakes. If a child is encouraged to work with these learning opportunities, success doesn’t become conceit, arrogance or entitlement and mistakes don’t become failures, wobbles aren’t terminal and second chances can lead to redemption.
At Equal Parts Education we won’t let any kid get stuck in a fixed mindset around their behaviour. We encourage them to Be Better and, however ‘Good’ they are, look to improve incrementally bit-by-bit each day because one percent improvement per day compounds to transformation over the months.
A wise woman once said to me that you speak to all children as if their parents are stood next to them. The complex dark and light of a child’s life is best nurtured through relationships, talking and listening. This is what we do at Equal Parts and this is surely what every parent wants their child to hear.