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View Diary: More thoughts on teachers, teaching and students (27 comments)

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  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 03:13:12 AM PST

    •  I am going offline for quite a while (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, TexMex, Bcgntn, JanL

      heading out for coffee and breakfast, then a session called "At Peace With Work" being offered by the wife of a friend, then lunch.  I will probably next visit this diary around 1 PM or thereabouts.

      I do hope a few more people find it.  I am glad that it has spoken to some other than myself, for which I am grateful.

      I apologize for the messed up html with which it was first posted.

      Enjoy your day.

      I will enjoy mine.


      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 04:35:32 AM PST

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    •  All of this is true, but only.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, JanL, joycemocha, congenitalefty

      for those of us who jumped into teaching with all 4 feet.  The pathetic irony of our political environment is that it:

      1. Politicizes public education.
      1. Keeps transferring responsibility for failure to those who are most instrumental in success.
      1. Has a tiger by the tail; the politicians cannot now say, "Oh.  We were only kidding.  Teachers and their unions are doing a 'heck of a job'."

      Will there emerge a true leader and a leader of truth to solve the demise of public education problem?  Will such a person have the steel to overcome disinformation on a grand, national scale?  How will the right and the left be reconciled such that our children regain some stature in education so they can be competitive with the rest of the world?

      "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

      by dolfin66 on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 06:02:30 AM PST

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      •  very good questions. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teacherken, JanL, dolfin66

        One comment I heard in ed school was that "The US has one of the most politicized public education systems in the world."  This came from two sources--one a teacher with experience teaching overseas in schools on US military bases; the other a special education researcher looking at international perspectives on learning disabilities.

        I had a hard time wrapping my mind around that concept and I still do (a nonpolitical public education system?  Nah, can't be.).  But looking at the wreck that public education has become in the past seven years of aggressive political meddling in the system, I've got to agree.

        Unfortunately, I think that both right and left are demonizing education at this time for their own purposes, none of which are particularly good.

        •  It goes all the way back.... (1+ / 0-)
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          to Reagan's administration when he directed his SecEd. to find a way to eliminate the cabinet position and department.  He couldn't do it.  I've written a diary about this series of regressive events.

          Newt Gingrich's infamous "Contract With America" also called for the disassembling of that and public education.  In their tiny right wing brains, everybody should go to private schools while the public pays for it.  Isn't that their right to stealing?

          I think there are some really, really evil people afoot who want a plutocratic oligarchy, not a Democracy, and they want to be the plutocrats.  George Orwell would be in apoplexy if he saw what we have today.

          "Have a beginner's mind at all times, for a beginner knows nothing and learns all while a sophisticate knows all and learns nothing." - Suzuki

          by dolfin66 on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 09:08:11 AM PST

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    •  Passion in pedagogy and with pupils (1+ / 0-)
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      Dearest TeacherKen . . .

      Perhaps, it is the use of the first snippet you offered that leads me to what might be thought too open and vulnerable for some.  Nonetheless, as I finally realized, more than a decade ago, in my read of Emotional Intelligence the vulnerable are the strong.  Thus, I share.

      Parker Palmer speaks of love and passion, for his craft, the subjects he teaches, and the students he cares for and about.  He discusses the relationship between the art and the science of pedagogy, as well as the art and science that exists in any intimate relationship.

      good teaching cannot be reduced to technique:  good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.

      I believe the way we interact with another human being, be it professionally, personally, or in a pupil Professor relationship can be real or the opposite, all technique.

      I am reminded of my own rite of passage.  I thought to purposely choose my corporeal journey with someone who was experienced.  However, the thought of a “relationship” per se was of no interest to me.  I did not expect to meet anyone and never sought the company of a “companion.”  I was found.

      The fascination for me is, the particular fellow who came my way craved an authentic connection.  A commitment was what he desired.  He understood that superficial silliness did not appeal to me.  Thus, for hours we read and reviewed books together.  

      Author Herman Hesse spoke to each of us.  We perused each of the Writer’s works.  Our conversations were endless.  Ultimately, we did the “act.” Oddly enough, as practiced this person was, when intertwined physically, he was all technique.  While I am never romantic and love for me is lyrical, when met with a deft doer of the deed, I felt so detached, that the moments felt like hours.  The exercise was rote.

      No matter how technical my subject may be, the things I teach are things I care about - and what I care about helps define my selfhood . . .To reduce our vulnerability, we disconnect from students, from subjects, even from our selves.  We build a wall between inner truth and outer performance, and we play-act the teacher's part . . . .  We distance ourselves from students and subject to minimize the danger - forgetting that distance makes life more dangerous still by isolating the self.

      Apparently, Eric had been seriously hurt in an earlier relationship.  He taught himself to disconnect in hopes of being less vulnerable.  He came to me, eager for an emotional, fulfilling, heartfelt union.  Yet, he also sought to establish distance.  Thus, through isolation Eric placed himself in greater danger.  His heart, had we continued in that manner would be hurt again.  Fortunately, the study we pursued together before the “act” allowed us to feel safe.  Openly, honestly, each vulnerable with the other, we discussed why a technically adept “association” would not work.  While I wanted no romance, fiction is not my friend, if we were to be friends we each needed to be real!

      I hope you can relate to the analogy, or at least understand it.  Smiles.


      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Betsy L. Angert BeThink

      by Bcgntn on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 04:08:41 PM PST

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