Saturday, March 17, 2007

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Part of becoming a master teacher is the realization that I have never arrived. Hate to admit it, but I don't know it all. I don't have to know it all before I can teach others. What is truly necessary to be a good teacher is the humility to become a lifelong learner.

Learning involves change. If I learn something, it will change me. If I apply something I have learned and put it into practice into my own life, that application demands that I change in some way.

Change is not easy. Most of us resist change. Even if we know the change is for the better, the way we are seems preferable because it is more comfortable. It takes effort to change. When we teach, we have to recognize that we are asking our students to change. If we resist change, then we may be guilty of hypocrisy, for how can we ask our students to grow, stretch, move out of their comfort zones, or try new ideas and endeavors while we sit safely at our teacher’s desk? Teaching is getting out, rolling up our sleeves and learning one or hopefully five steps ahead of our students.

When we commit ourselves to learning, we gain compassion and empathy for what we are asking our students to do. We feel the frustration our students feel when learning doesn’t come easily. We share the excitement and joy when they discover something new because we know, oh do we know, what it feels like. We can more effectively urge our students onward because we’ve experienced what it is to work toward a goal.

I’ve been doing a bit of learning and growing myself. Technology does not come easily to me. Maybe I’m too old, maybe I’m part of the wrong generation, maybe I’ve just never had a grasp of how things are put together. I’m more an idea person, I guess. This whole blog thing has been a stretch for me. I work through the problem of setting up SiteMeter or FeedBlitz or connect to a blog ring, never quite sure what I did to arrive. Yet, what a thrill when I finally “get it”

In this spirit of becoming a life long learner so I can best serve my students and readers, I’m continuing to make changes to this blog site. The newest feature is on the right hand side of your screen. If you would like to receive notice of when my latest blog entry is up, please subscribe to the FeedBlitz email service. It’s easy, it’s really easy. So my college daughter tells me! If you have trouble following the directions, email her. No, I’m kidding! You really shouldn’t have any problems, unless you are techno-challenge like me. In that case, feel free to email me at and I’ll email my daughter and ask her how to help – er. I mean, I’ll help you through.

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