Challenging But Not Severe

Challenging But Not Severe

My dad was right; I have forgotten almost everything any teacher worked to teach me. It is my character that has been improved. (Please see previous post.) That is the lasting influence of those who were most effective. The facts and skills I have taught myself (often again) as I have needed them. I was empowered by the best of my teachers to teach myself and learn what I needed.

What is common to the teacher’s whose presence in my life I still recall and influence I can still trace is that they were all demanding — but not severe. Continue reading

A Good Teacher is a Good Student

A Good Teacher is a Good Student

‘I can’t be a teacher — I’m just learning. I don’t know enough to teach.’

The woman, a student in one of my classes, sat across the small round table from me. She was a few years older than I was. We were both already middle-aged. I sat there thinking about what she said. She was a year away from graduating with her master’s degree; about the same time she would have her first job — in which she would be required to teach.

She looked at me expectantly. I sat there, thinking and smiling.

‘Aren’t you going to say anything?’ she said with a note of irritation in her voice.

‘What would you like me to say?’ I asked. She looked exasperated.  Continue reading