Groundhog Day- and being originally from the midwest I and my neighbours knew, regardless of what the groundhog displayed, there WAS going to be a lot more winter weather!
Still, this mini-event, televised and discussed, makes for reflection: halfway through a school year- the typical, “why do you teach?” question arises.
In a nutshell: the reflection of pure thinking, joy in recognition of understanding, comfort when an idea registers, communication without guile-it is a total delight to hear a learner puzzling over an idea, considering a new concept, and when the struggling occurs- working through the problem towards some level of resolution. As a result the joy I take in sharing my education, and the comfort learners experience when the lessons lead to results – here I will clarify- results on “standardized” tests – yes- but more importantly results in desire to learn more…
It is after all- that desire to learn more, that pushes the educators I have been blessed with meeting and working with to continue to not only teach but also-Learn. Yes, today I offer private lessons, based on years of accumulated instruction in public and private institutions, working with both children and adults. That statement was made to offset any suggestions that tutoring is “easier” than teaching to the class within a formal/traditional setting. In fact tutoring done well, is extremely challenging, for the student and for the tutor. Both must be prepared to recognize when challenges occur and to directly change direction if a particular course of study bogs down; for communication to be both given and received, an openness is necessary.
Little is expected of that groundhog- it appears, photos are taken, and Nature continues its course regardless of what was “predicted”. And so I throw away the crystal ball, forgoing predictions and focusing on the student, the practical and abstract aspect of a lesson, the shy smile, the deep belly laugh, the drawings and sketches, doodles, and comments. Because one day at a time, change is happening, we need only be open to noticing it. And to reflecting anew on the questions our students offer, and to remembering that they in fact may be the ones who best supply the answers.