Teaching- Introduction 1

Engaging in the act of teaching often requires us to engage with a sense of vulnerability – both our own and that of our students.  Learning is inherently a vulnerable act. When we are learning, we are in a position of unknowing and uncertainty.  As teachers, we often sense this vulnerability in our students, but we may overlook it in ourselves. 

This sense of our own vulnerability while teaching can be one of the more challenging aspects of our jobs.  This vulnerability can emerge due to such things as constantly feeling like we have to be “on”, our own inner critic and sense of failure, or the idea that we are under unremitting evaluation from ourselves, administrators, and students. This sense of vulnerability may never go away completely, but we can bring an awareness to our teaching that lessens our sense of risk.      

Which aspects of teaching make you feel most vulnerable?  What are some places of vulnerability that teachers experience that you wish those who did not teach would understand?

How does your sense of vulnerability affect what you do in the classroom?  What is one way your students ask you to engage with their sense of vulnerability?

Teaching – Ascend and Transcend Overview

Some have said that a teacher’s work is never done. In that statement, we see a reflection of the infinite cycle we live as teachers, the constant flux and flow between acts of teaching and learning. 

As teachers, we are constantly learning.  We grow in our understanding, our ability to perceive and respond, and our effectiveness as guides for the development of others.  At the same time, we shepherd our students through their transformations, as they learn to become teachers of themselves.   The gift of the teacher is to hold the space within these exchanges, allowing for the evolvement of both teacher and student. 

Every teacher serves as a placeholder, a touchstone, a point of stillness, by which others move and develop. 

Within your teaching experience, do you still see yourself as a student?  Why or why not?

How may you help your students understand that all teachers are students, as they continue to learn, and all students are teachers, as they learn to teach themselves?

Living What We Teach

Before we begin the Ascend and Transcend for Teacher program, I wanted to share some thoughts of how teaching during the pandemic transformed us as teachers.

In many ways, teaching during pandemic has us, as teachers, “Living What we Teach”.

As we switched modalities and formats, we experienced the same uncertainty, confusion, and development of new skills that we so commonly expect of our students.

Just as we expect our students to transform and grow, we experienced our own transformation and growth. May we take these changes forward with us.

How can we live up to the same expectations we place upon our students?

How may our relationship with students change when we embrace the idea that we are “living what we teach”?