educating for the sake of knowledge or learning?

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

When in the position of the teacher, one can hold immense power or scorn. There are some in-betweens, but by and large, one’s students either look up or look down.

The mistake teachers make is to demand. Earning, inspiring, and growing power, support, and loyalty is the only way to go about it. This goes the same for anyone in a superior position: you aren’t better than them; you’re the same, but you bring a little something else to the table, and you’re ready to offer that little something else to everyone.

As a tutor and workshop facilitator I see this. I do my best to bring everyone into the fold, whether they struggle or excel or fall somewhere in between. You have to encourage while simultaneously rein in; you have to multitask and juggle like nothing else to find an equal ground. You have to keep those who are bored entertained, those who are overwhelmed content, and those who are pleasantly surprised continually surprised. Surprise and delight is the name of the game when teaching: surprise that it’s easy, maybe even fun, and delight at that realization. You can never say no while correcting, you have to control your class while freeing them, you have to give openly of your knowledge while knowing that one day it’ll be the wrong thing to do.

Educating is exhausting. Learning is exhausting. Packing knowledge into your head is one of the more difficult tasks someone can (or can’t) accomplish. It’s the why that makes it worth it. Why do you teach? Why do you learn? Why do you struggle for something intangible?


© Sara Hunt and Rosevoiced, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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