Wednesday, October 11, 2006




Sept. 28. 2006.

Love, now there’s a word you don’t see in the syllabus. And why not? Too revolutionary? Too seditious? Too close to the heart? May be all these and more. Hattie (2003) implies it (love) in the dedication and commitment shown by expert teachers. Wheatley (1999) really takes the ball and runs with it and opens up a whole new level of challenge for teachers to open their hearts.
The little that I know of love inspires me in my personal and professional life. I see and feel such need for an open hearted approach to learning and teaching. Students are confronted with very real and complex issues earlier in their lives than I experienced at their age and often the are grasping for the rudimentary tools with which to deal with their dilemmas. My own strategy when connecting with students is to try and imbue the encounter with authenticity and say to myself a silent “Namaste”, the Hindu greeting that says “I see the god in you”. This is easier on some days than others and with some students more than others. On a more active level I endeavour to “sow seeds.” I have a fairly gregarious and earthy personality and enjoy connecting with students in a mature, humorous and positive way. It is part of Rudolf Steiners “ Thinking, Feeling, Willing”, philosophy that sets the daily rhythm of school life and provides conscious and unconscious cues to students and staff. I find that humour mixed with compassion and wisdom speak non verbally to the human heart. This is where I try to make inroads in my connections with myself and others. I hear myself sounding like some one that’s read too much Wheatley. Not a bad thing.
I am all too aware of the pitfalls of making connections through relationship if one is not fully committed or conscious. My experiences as a Youth Worker brought home the seriousness of making mistakes and the far reaching consequences of reacting out of ignorance. Hattie (2003) hits the nail on the head when he states that the expert teacher “makes the lesson uniquely their own, by changing, combining and adding to them according to the students needs and their own goals.” And where, according to Blooms Taxonomy, deeper learning is facilitated by the teacher to enable the higher order thinking in a student that they not only Remember, Understand and Apply what is learned in the classroom but then go on to develop the skills to Analyse, Evaluate and Create from this information.

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