I have a student teacher again this semester, and my experience with her, as I have told her, has convinced me completely of something I had long been leaning toward. Teaching is an art, not a science. After discussing all the methods, tips, and tricks, truly successful teaching, the kind that transforms lives, is dependent on some x-factor, and "it" quality that cannot be identified in the laboratory of the ed. school or measured by a state-mandated evaluation rubric.
She observed, with the quite normal frustration of a young teacher, that just when she thinks she has one aspect of the job down, she realizes another that she must work on. It made me think of this scene from Tin Cup. In it, Kevin Costner complains to Cheech Marin that his golf swing is falling apart and feels like an unfolding lawn chair.
She laughed, and then I loaded this clip from Ocean's Eleven. In this one, Brad Pitt explains to Matt Damon how to converse with someone while undercover. As he points out, it requires a number of seemingly contradictory skills.
Still laughing, my student teacher nevertheless expressed how concerned she was over what she perceived as her poor performance. I concluded with this from Keeping the Faith. Here Ben Stiller advises a young Jewish boy on how to attack the Hebrew he must memorize and recite for his Bar Mitzvah.
Contrary to what some think, learning does not happen best via computer or through a perfectly memorized set of teacher tricks. It is an art. Some are born to teach, and some can be trained to do an acceptable job. Some cannot teach at all. Whatever the case, the true teacher, who is both magister, or master of the subject, and paedagogus, or leader of children, while certainly employing learned techniques, moves about in the midst of students, shaping them no less deftly than Michelangelo shaped his marble, and all would agree that the Florentine's art was a gift.
Love never says "Enough"
12 hours ago