Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I'm discovering that one of the most important skills a teacher requires is patience.

My image of the ideal teacher is someone standing and speaking at the front of the room. However, this ideal is contrary to my philosophy of a student-centered classroom.

In a student-centered classroom, the teacher must defer to the student. The student must be given the spotlight, and the time and space needed to explore and learn.

As a person raised with a strong work ethic, it makes me feel uncomfortable to do nothing and to say nothing. I feel guilty for being lazy. But this passive behavior is required from a student-centered teacher.

I have driven past construction works leaning on shovels along the side of the road and thought to myself, these guys are lazy. But perhaps they are not. Perhaps the nature of the job requires them to wait. Perhaps they need to wait for cement to mix, perhaps they need to wait for a machine to complete its task. I don't know.

Waiting and inactivity are not tantamount to laziness and they are not inherently vices. The ability to wait is a virtue that should be nurtured.

Photo by cwalker71.


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