Do we teach or are we taught

Bird Droppings November 6, 2014
Do we teach or are we taught

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” Albert Einstein

So many times when discussing students who are having difficult times an individual teacher’s perspective is all that matters. Recently I was about to thump another teacher in the head listening to comments about how if this student had a better work ethic. I have heard work ethic a lot lately. This or that student needs a better work ethic. But what if you really do not like that teacher and or subject and better yet what if you have a disability that inhibits you. Every day I see square pegs hammered into round holes. It is the way our education system works. I am always amused that Mr. Einstein was one who did not have a great work ethic in school. Matter of fact he failed math a time or two and then he rewrote the books.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

We rely so much on prepackaged, prewritten, preformed, precooked, pretested, pre-read, and pre-understood everything that creativity, imagination and uniqueness get left on the shelf. We are giving make up Georgia High School Graduation tests and End of Course Tests over the next weeks in our school. In theory tests of content with a smattering of cognitive questions thrown in however several questions while multiply choice could be answered in numerous ways and here are high school students trying to analysis and answer questions for example science teacher’s question. What if you miss one of those questions and get a 499 and 500 is passing. A good friend who graduated nearly ten years ago had taken the science test four times and failed by a total of eight points and has not graduated. What if each time this person answered that one question the same way a question that is either incorrect or not answerable. This person was an A and B student and after four tries was too frustrated to try again.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein

How and why and what should be taught are always at the crux of curriculum and instructional administrators challenges. But one of the most difficult aspects of education is instilling a desire to learn as Einstein states wanting to seek the mysterious. Too few are the students who truly want to learn most and not just simply pass and get on. In fourteen years of high school teaching one of my greatest moments was being asked who wrote the poem when I read Dylan Thomas. I was asked by a kid who most thought could not read and then he read the entire book that weekend. The mysterious is a mysterious thing. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)

1 thought on “Do we teach or are we taught

  1. Teaching and Learning

    Teaching is not about what is taught.
    Teaching is always about what is sought.
    Teaching is more about finding our path.
    Teaching is not just reading and math.

    Learning is not about what is learned.
    Learning is more about what is yearned.
    Learning is about understanding oneself.
    Learning is taking more books from the shelf.

    Testing is not about what’s on the test.
    Testing is not about knowing who’s best.
    Testing just makes us compete for the prize.
    Testing just brings on a great, big demise.

    Education is not about who is educated.
    Education is more about who is dedicated.
    Education is about building community.
    Education is about individuality.

    Grades are not about what is graded.
    Grades are a curse that needs to be faded.
    Grades cause harm and move us apart.
    Grades exist for only the smart.

    Success is not about who can succeed.
    Success is for all of the students in need.
    Success is about finding our own abilities.
    Success is for ending all hostilities.

    Achievement is not about who can achieve.
    Achievement brings promise and cannot deceive.
    Achievement occurs when all can advance.
    Achievement brings honor and joy to enhance.

    Students are teachers and learners too.
    Their paths connect each day that they do
    Believe that creativity and learning can be fun
    After each school day’s work is said to be done.

    Ernie Pancsofar

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