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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Teach me gently

A couple of days ago I received an unsolicited online message that stated, "The best teachers are those who tell you where to look, but don't tell you what to look for." Since then I have been thinking about teachers and how varied their approach  is to teaching. Some are very successful and others not so much.

The subject reminded me of something I wrote in the introduction for my first self-published book, Spirit with a Positive Attitude. "Grants is like a pot of homemade soup. Take a little of this and a little of that, add water and just the right combination of seasoning and you have a comforting, plain good meal. Like any other, this town is made up of teachers; most of them do not have a degree, but have taught since birth."

I later heard via the grapevine that my comment caused quite a stir in our little old western town. All I really meant was that we are all teachers and I still wholeheartedly believe that. We are also all students.

From my personal experience I have concluded that the best teachers are the ones who willingly share their life lessons with their students. While writing as a columnist I interviewed two such outstanding teachers; one was male and the other female. They both taught not only what was required, but what they had learned through living their lives. Both seemed to instinctively know that the best way to make an impression on their students was to go beyond books.

Just for fun and to get you thinking I would like to share a variety of quotes I found on the subject of teaching.

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.~Carl Jung

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.~Albert Einstein

You can get help from a teacher, but you are going to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.~Dr. Seuss

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination and instill a love of learning.~ Brad Henry

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.~Lily Tomlin

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolorent and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.~Khalil Gibran

Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything- even mountains, rivers, plants and trees- should be your teacher.~ Morihei Usehiba  

The true teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons and the true teacher is the learner.~Elbert Hubbard

Those who know how to think need no teacher.~Mahatma Gandhi


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