Saturday, November 11, 2006

More and more, I realize that a sense of proportion is an important ingredient in good teaching. In all of my work, whether planning before class or teaching during class, I must try to establish an agreeable or harmonious relation of parts within a whole. My plans must flow together nicely, and my students, when they are in my classroom, must get a feeling of balance or symmetry– a sense of a pleasing interaction of elements. During class, and even when they are doing my assignments at home, they should have the feeling that they are part of something harmonious and agreeable. What’s interesting about all this is that my students and I are actually surrounded and permeated by harmony. Every cell in our bodies works in harmony with every other one, and, at the other end of the scale, the farthest stars in space circle through the universe in an utterly well-balanced manner. Every breath my students and I take is a part of the musical workings of the infinite universe. I guess what this means is that I simply have to be aware of the grand synchronization of the universe whenever I’m planning or teaching a lesson. I don’t have to create harmony in my classroom; rather, I just have to be fully conscious of, and responsive to, the concord that’s already present. If I can consistently do that, each of my classes will be as harmonious as the cadenced pumping of hearts or the graceful intertwining of stars and planets.

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