Friday, April 20, 2007

Odd as it may sound, I hope to become a more defenseless teacher. I hope to totally give up the need to defend my point of view in the classroom, or protect my position as the students’ guide, or guard my self-image in any way. I want to throw down all protective devices that I have used in the past to defend my position as a separate, well-educated, forceful person. I want to give up all distrustful and self-protective attitudes. I guess I want to be more open in the classroom, more ready to accept whatever happens, whatever opinion is expressed, whatever strange road the class seems to be traveling. I don’t mean that I will give up carefully planning each lesson, but just that I will give up seeing it as my personal lesson that must be defended and protected. Any lesson I devise actually arises out of an infinite store of ideas the universe provides me with, and I want to stay open to all of those wonderful ideas, even while I’m in the act of teaching. I guess I’ve grown weary of the defensive way of teaching – the way that requires me to always be on the alert to defend my position as the wise leader of the class. I’m just one part of the vast and mysterious process called “education”, and I don’t need to defend anything any more that one wave needs to “defend” the ocean. The wave needs to relax, do its job, and see what happens – and so do I.

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