Friday, September 08, 2006

ON TEACHING: Thoroughness

Today I was a thorough teacher, and it gave me great pleasure. Some time ago, I looked up the word "thorough" and found (as I expected) that it involves doing something completely, entirely, and fully, from start to finish -- and that's what I was able to do today. Somehow (perhaps by accident) I planned exactly the right amount of teaching so that I could get through each segment in a deliberate and complete manner. I taught my lessons step by step with care and concentration. Interestingly, the word "thorough" also derives from a word meaning "to pierce", which makes we wonder whether I might have "pierced" some of my students today with knowledge and understanding. Because I was teaching in a painstaking, measured way, and not rushing, the students may have been able to comprehend the lesson more deeply (more piercingly) than usual. There's actually a simple reason why this all happened today: I eliminated some of the daily activities I was accustomed to doing last year. I guess I finally realized (duh) that I can't possibly teach everything or do every activity. By cutting some less important steps in my lesson plan, I was able to cover the remaining steps in a much more thorough manner. I was proud of myself as a teacher today because I taught in a good way -- deliberately and comprehensively.

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