Monday, July 09, 2012

To be a good teacher...

For to be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so, or to deliver a lecture, etc. No, to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner, put yourself in his place so that you may understand what he understands and in the way he understands it ."

Soren Kierkegaard, The Journal, 1864
I am in the Boston, Logan Airport waiting for the first flight on my journey back to Arkansas. The quote above tells something essential about an effective teacher. If a teacher cannot for some reason offer a student a means through which to conduct his or her own inquiry through the use of tools, that teacher would commence with an investigation of his or her own.... finding out what the child knows, and what the child wants to know. This is what was meant when Otto Salomon suggested that teachers of Sloyd start with the interests of the child.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Anonymous9:02 PM

    Kierkegaard is one of my favorite thinkers. And he's right. If you can't approach your own material as if it were the first time you were encountering it, you'll have a hard time teaching it.

  2. And if you don't know your student and how he or she would relate to the material, you are not qualified to be a teacher.

  3. Anonymous5:36 AM

    It didn't take me long, during my 35+ years as a teacher to see the truth of what Kierkegaard is saying.