This was a really lovely weekend. I got to spend a Saturday with my family just relaxing for the first time in a while. No one had colds, we didn’t have company in town, and my husband wasn’t working. AND we got to do my three favorite things: sleep late, go out to brunch, and play outside. It was a trifecta squared! Here’s some highlights of a day that was grey and overcast, but filled with joy and family fun…
Now, my little one’s at childcare and I’m getting ready to teach my spring semester of classes in a couple days. As I review my readings and syllabus, it’s got me thinking about what makes a great teacher.
Here’s what other people have said:
- It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. ~Albert Einstein
- Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater. ~Gail Godwin
- A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. ~Louis A. Berman
- The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward
- Experience is a great teacher. ~John Legend
- To teach is to learn twice. ~Joseph Joubert, Pensées, 1842
- The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. ~Mark Van Doren
All this rings true for me, but what a tall order! ‘Assisting discovery,’ ‘inspiring,’ ‘awakening joy’…those feel like impossible goals! How can I teach others to do what I am still doing? I am always learning and growing! And I am definitely continually discovering and a life long student. So, where does that leave me as a teacher…
Maybe that is the ultimate lesson I have to teach, that finishing your masters degree does not give you all the finite knowledge you need to do your job well forever…it simply gives you to tools to take your job to the next level. It helps you become a better searcher, learner, researcher, and observer. And in fine tuning skills to explore throughout one’s life’s journey and career path, one can achieve an experience of awakening, joy, discovery, inspiration, and excel at your career. We will always be students in life and that’s not only OK, that’s maybe the real goal…to never stop growing!
I think I’m seeing that there is also a lesson in here for me, the teacher, as well. I can give my students the skills to grow, but I cannot make them grow. No matter how good I am as a teacher, I am a facilitator to their journey. I am a means, but not an end. All I can do it my best, be open to growing from what my students share with me too, and make this semester just another part of my journey and my students’.
Well, now I’m feeling a little more excited about lesson plans for this week. And I think I may have a little prep done for my introduction to the class too :). Hope you all do a little teaching and learning this week! Feels good to grow!
Peace and Growth,