Seeing Anew

eye-of-horusThere 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.

Moving Forward: Podcasts

I have been invited to write a reflection in response to one of three prompts.  I have chosen to respond to the third prompt, “What are you doing moving forward”?

podcastOne of my favourite pastimes is to listen to brilliant minds speak; a fun Friday night includes a great lecture or a stimulating podcast. I’m serious! The Partially Examined Life is a particular favourite.

Because of this genuine interest, I am excited to learn about creating and using “podcasts” in my practice, both as a teaching tool and as a means for students to share their knowledge and understanding.

However, before leaping to use podcasting in my classroom, it’s important for me to consider the ‘big picture’, so I appreciate today’s opportunity to think and “play”.

First Steps:

First, I need to question my desire to use podcasts on a philosophical level.  For me, this type of thinking takes time and sustained silence!  (Perhaps this weekend)

Second, I need to see what other teachers are doing; I want to learn from them (both what to do and what not to do).

This article from The Atlantic seems like a good place to start.

Update to come!