Know Yourself

Posted: August 19, 2008 in leadership, Theory
Tags: , , ,

He who knows men is clever. He who knows himself is wise.

To Thine Own Self Be True.

Throughout many of the major religions of the world (and time), it has been clear that one of the biggest journeys we go on is the journey into truly knowing ourselves. I might (shudder) dare to say that it could even be a universal truth.

It seems that dy/dan is finding some truth about himself: finding what works for him in the form of classroom management. He discusses many fantastic ideas such as being the “teflon teacher” so kids can’t pin you down (long enough for you to show them “that you c*re”).

My concern is that Dan is masquerading what works for him as some sort of universal truth. I have no doubt that he is a fantastic teacher and that his students are lucky to have him… and that he has found a great way to relate and conect with kids. But simply calling it “The teacher your students want” doesn’tmake it a “just add water” formula.

What works for him would probably be silly if I were to try it.  Bill Fitzgerald commented on Dan’s post with something very wise: Never pretend to be something that you’re not. This is sage advice for the readers out there who might feel ashamed because they’re just not like Dan, or, worse yet, might throw away what they already do (that works) to try to be someone they’re not.

It’s what we would hope for our students, to be uniquely unique and change the world with their uniqueness… so why should teachers fit a cookie-cutter idea of “The Ideal Teacher Profile”?

So, who am I? That’s probably Teflon: hard to pin down. I might tend a little more toward the “soft edges and kittens” than the “cruel teacher”… but, ultimately, I want my students to know that they are worthy of my time and consideration… in the same way that I am. So we have fun, laugh a lot… and get a lot of learning done. The most important part, though, like Dan says, is to show them how much I care.

Honestly? I’m still pinning myself down. Who I am, who I want to be… I think it’s probably a long journey ahead.


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