Wednesday, December 16, 2009


    If we want people to feel relaxed at a gathering, we might say “come as you are”, which is what I sometimes have to say to myself when I get to worrying about my teaching. There are early mornings when I fret and fuss about an upcoming class: Have I prepared enough? Am I ready for any contingency? Am I smart enough to handle this topic? Will I be able to deal with blank and bored faces? Basically, what I’m asking myself on those disquieting mornings is Am I good enough? Can I do this teaching work? Luckily, I usually come fairly quickly to my senses, and often it’s because I say to myself something like, “Ham, just come as you are. Just bring yourself to the class, just as you are, just as the universe made you. The students don’t want a sophisticated computer or a processed and purified technician or a highly polished android for a teacher. They want a generous, whole-hearted, spirited, inquisitive, flawed, and frightened person to teach them – a person just like them. They want you with all your worries and joys and fears and failures. Forget “dressing up” your lessons with a thousand finicky details. Make a lesson that flies like a straight arrow to a wondrous target, and bring it to class with courage and a little comedy. Walk tall, be bold, and laugh at yourself. And just come as you are.”

No comments: