Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Who -- or What -- Does the Teaching?

I confess to wondering, sometimes, just exactly who – or what – does the teaching that happens in my classroom. I long ago gave up the notion that a single individual called “Mr. Salsich” does it, because I simply know that’s not true. To me, saying I do all the teaching is like saying a breeze in my backyard brings about all the great winds of the universe. Each day something wonderful occurs in my little classroom (and no doubt in all classrooms, to one degree or another) – something beyond my ability to understand, something that shifts and shakes up the young lives I’m entrusted with – and I know without doubt that I, a small breeze in a vast wind called learning, am not totally responsible for it. What happens is called learning, but it might as well be called “changing lives”, because that’s what all learning does, and I don’t feel comfortable calling my small self a life-changer. No, I’m just part of an immeasurable process, just a passing gust in the endless swirl called education. When a breeze blows by me, I know to not ask where it started, because its origin lies in the immensity of the atmosphere, and, for a similar reason, I may as well not ask who or what does the teaching. I suppose the best I can say is that it just happens, like winds from wherever bluster among our streets on these fresh September days.

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