Monday, January 17, 2011


“He would have been content with very little, being one of those men who pass through life without making the least clamor about themselves.”
-- George Eliot, Scenes of Clerical Life

I keep this quote close by during the school year, for it reminds me to make teaching as selfless an activity as possible. It’s not an easy task, since an attractive renown can sometimes come a teacher’s way and whisk him off to reveries about becoming his students’ “favorite teacher” or some such nonsense. If praise starts to find him, it’s all too easy to turn aside from the true work of the teacher and start seeking applause rather than the satisfaction that comes from old-fashioned fidelity to the needs of the students. The “clamor” should always be about the students, never the teacher. In fact, I might measure my success in the classroom by how far I fade into the background behind my students. I guess I want to be “content with very little”, if by that is meant the small, steady victories of my students

1 comment:

Catheirne Calderon said...

Again, I am inspired by your thoughts! In my teaching & work as a workshop facilitator, I always say that whenever I start thinking that it's "me" that's doing the teaching, the flow of inspiration stops cold. When I step out of the way, and allow myself to be nothing more than a conduit for an ancient, ageless stream of inspiration, ideas and wisdom, then magic happens...