Welcome to Landscapes for Learning! Thanks for stopping by…
My name is Maureen Bakis. I am a mom of four, yoga instructor, former high school humanities teacher and author turned podcaster, blogger, and online educator and coach.
My mission is to promote an intrinsic love for learning for personal wellbeing using a humanities curriculum specifically designed for teenagers to cope with present and future challenges and accelerated change of 21st century life.
I quit my job as a school teacher after fourteen years (security, pension, heath insurance and all) so that I could do more of what makes me feel alive which is to teach young people to actualize in ways that promote personal wholeness, health, and wellness. As much as I love to gain knowledge and skills in my own life, I know that intellectual development is only one part of becoming fully actualized as uniquely me. A person’s value is not only about intelligence or achievement or career success. We are far more complex and beautiful than only that!
I don’t know when everything got so out of balance, but I was frustrated with the over-valuation of and excessive attention to academic achievement and competition associated with the learning process within my school’s culture because I saw firsthand the various detrimental effects on kids that resulted from being forced to participate in the extrinsic rewards and punishment of the grading system. I got tired of teaching students that their GPA was not their true identity and had nothing do with their worth.
The grading system and its resulting moral corruptions also challenged my personal integrity, my identity as a teacher, and the integrity of the authentic learning process of trial and error. Many good teachers subvert the system and do all they can to help kids flourish despite the narrow confines of a traditional educational experience and grades, but we really do need to stop this insanity– literally.
Expanding my classroom beyond the brick and mortar structure of schooling enables me to share a real-world, relevant humanities curriculum with the wider world of students without concern for grades nor am I restricted by having to focus on only learning that is measurable. I think there are important life skills and character development that young people need to practice through trial and error to help them flourish and stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. These are soft skills and immeasurables that matter more in the scheme of life than the signaling a college degree might provide.
I hope to provide teenagers with more authentic forms of learning that schools with overly-competitive academic environments with their grading systems and all of its limitations and associated problems cannot. I know that educators would love to ditch the grading system and focus on the business of learning, but they are handcuffed for many reasons. Perhaps my landscapes for learning curriculum and others like it can fill this gap in schools and beyond school.
To my students….
My mission is to promote an intrinsic love for learning for personal wellbeing using a humanities curriculum specifically designed for you to cope with present and future challenges and changes of life in the 21st century.
The Landscapes for Learning curriculum is designed to help you know yourself deeply, maintain your integrity as a unique individual human being, and help you develop a learning disposition and mindset that welcomes change and challenge as opportunities to blossom as uniquely you! I can also provide your parents, teachers, and school community with opportunities to support you on your individual learning journey!
The amount of information and self-help about “who to be” and “how to” advice can seem overwhelming. It’s difficult to trust which tools are exactly right for you, especially when you aren’t quite sure who you are!
But, I am here to tell you that the answers are inside of you. Your truth and integrity are within you. You just need to tap into yourself and get to know your inner landscape. The world needs YOU, exactly as you are– not a copy of anyone else. If you can find your truth and live it, then you’ll enjoy surfing the waves of change throughout you life rather than be swallowed up by them! I can give you some tools and support to get you started on your journey.
Contact me to get started on this travel adventure to be a wiser and healthier you!
To learn more about the landscapes for learning mission, courses, resources, and tools please use the contact form or email me directly at email@example.com.