“The most important thing to realize in this life is that we are all in this together.” This is a favorite quote of Frank Lindon, a college professor of 20 years and his classrooms are a shining example of this ideology. You may have already guessed, but his methods have directly led to his curriculum being praised and adopted by many. Interestingly enough this simple principle has led to his students being the sole cause of his college achieving the required Student Learning Assessment compliance.
Let’s take a moment to discuss Frank’s philosophy. The greatest responsibility on the planet is given to parents, to raise Earth’s future generation. The second greatest responsibility on that planet is that of teacher. To provide each learner with the tools and the knowledge they need to successfully take over the position of the older generation. Therefore, the most important thing any teacher can teach is to care about others. For if the rising generation does not have compassion for others, they will not be inclined to train up the rising generation.
If you think about it, Frank’s mantra makes complete sense. Our schools and universities are training the future leaders of the world. The world can greatly benefit from their work and talents, but only if these future leaders care enough about others to intentionally decide to use their skills for the benefit of others. Professor Lindon has made it his life’s mission to not only teach, but to instill this principle of caring into the hearts of his students.
Most major religious organizations and ethics groups have some version of the golden rule that they teach. Frank has his own version of it as part of his class mission statement, and gives his students the opportunity to put it into practice through a class grading system that is known as the “The Caring System.” In short, each student’s grade is directly influenced by all of the students in the class. Now this idea isn’t new, as many classes grade on a curve. What is unique is the incentive that Professor Lindon provides for students going out of their way to help each other. He provides extra credit for such acts of kindness, and gives the receivers of such acts extra credit if they choose to pay the good deeds forward.
This has led to an interesting phenomenon in his classroom. He wants all of his students to learn the class material, and one of the biggest obstacles to this in his opinion is students taking sick days. Missing days for being sick in college is a pretty common things. Students are often overwhelmed with their personal lives, being on their own for the first time in their lives, as well as the stress that school can put on an individual. Often times their immune system’s buckle and they get a cold or a the flu. It has become regular practice in his class when a student misses a day because they are ill, for all remaining healthy students to find website online with quotes about getting well soon which express the way they feel. Using these sayings wishing their sick fellow student to get better, they make Get Well cards. They then designate a class member to deliver these cards and check in with the sick student to see if there is anything they need to help alleviate the pain of their sickness or make their life better in any way. Needless to say that no one fakes a sick day in Frank’s class, and those who really do experience physical ailment always say they feel bolstered by the kind words of their classmates.
Frank is not well known for what he does. His influence will probably have a greater impact on society than he will ever know, but when the CCC and governing bodies of California Colleges challenged his school to improve the quality of student learning, he took that charge seriously. He invented a system that not only affects his students, and the people that they will touch in their life times, but it affects his fellow educators. Professor Lindon provides an excellent example of how important it is for teachers to “care” about their jobs.