There seem to be parallels between what George does at our ITLL sessions and what we try to do in our high school classes. Watching a great teacher reminds one of what is at the heart of great teaching.
A great teacher stands among his listeners and embodies his passion (his subject). This embodiment is inspiring and activates a genuine desire to learn. Once interest is ignited, students are willingly lead out of their echo chambers and are gently encouraged to try on different ideas and ways of thinking. Given time, opportunities to experiment, and the space to question, the new ideas and ways of thinking become internalized. This process is transformative, and a great teacher makes it happen!
Great teachers do not teach what to think; rather, great teachers teach how to think. As a result, we (students and teachers alike) see anew. T.S. Elliot’s words are appropriate here:
We shall not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. (“Little Gidding”)
This is good teaching; this is meaningful learning: To be lead out in order to see anew!
Thanks to George and all my fellow ITLLs for reminding me of this.