@GOOD Asks: Who Do You Feel Taught You the Most While in School? The Community Answers – Education – GOOD

@GOOD Asks: Who Do You Feel Taught You the Most While in School? The Community Answers – Education – GOOD.

“Passionate teachers and professors who talked to me, not at me.”

—Alyssa Alimurung


Schenck’s Advice

I found this in the comments of an Insider Higher Ed article:

Try to create and to foster in the classroom a big, free, open, safe, secure space. Invite students to be honest and to write the truths of their own life experience as they have lived it and know it. Offer correction and criticism only privately in pencil on their printouts. Encourage student authors to permit distribution of copies of their papers in class and to read them aloud as classmates follow along; or to permit you, the teacher, to read them aloud. Read them well, the very best you can, and make them sound really good! In class discussion insist students abide by elementary rules of parliamentary order—never interrupt, raise a hand to be acknowledged, address the moderator only (never another speaker), be silent and attentive until acknowledged by the moderator, be reasonable. In class discuss issues, themes, ideas, language, viewpoints (not rhetoric, grammar, usage, or mechanics). Build confidence, always, and foster truth-telling, always. Insist on data entry; make students correct, edit, and resubmit. Help them express their thoughts and feelings but don’t contend with them. Let students decide what they want to say and do everything you can to help them say it so others understand. Praise courage, honesty, and truth. Ask why, why, why, why, why. Engage students intellectually, make them think, pull their thinking up, and everything else will come up along with it.

You’ll be amazed at the results.

—Bob Schenck

Students are our best teachers « bluyonder

Students are our best teachers « bluyonder.

Students were part of a panel where our teachers asked them a series of questions including: ‘what would you say to your teachers to help you to learn better?’; ‘tell us about a time when you found it easy to learn something?’; and ‘tell us about a time when it was difficult to learn something?’.

Some comments from the students were:

• wanting teachers with a sense of humour
• teachers having good control but also challenging students
• teachers being good listeners and giving students scope for input
• developing appropriate relationships
• getting to know and caring for the students

—Greg Whitby


I erased the whiteboard after class, mortified but grateful I could at least turn my reddened face away. I didn’t even want to face the now empty chairs. Had I really just shown my 18-year-old students a photograph of me in my bathing suit? I was in first grade in the photo and it was a one piece and I was telling them a story about taking a reading class at—oh, never mind. I had only twenty minutes to change hues before a student conference.

She sat down next to me on my office’s couch and said, “My [peer response] group couldn’t believe it,” seeming to confirm my horror. “It was magical—the way you tied your story together like that. We were all like, ‘Wow, how did she do that?’”

I then helped her dig through her memories to find her literacy story—one that began with a very hungry caterpillar who made a magical transformation.

No longer red, I left the office sanguine.

Explosive Joy

To get to know each other on the second day of class, we shared photo stories. Here’s mine:

They called the contagious charge that permeated each part of my body before appearing as a wide-mouthed grin on my face “explosive joy.” In August 2010, I spent two months writing, volunteering, and traveling in India and Nepal with twelve other vagabonds. Here, riding on the trunk of an elephant, I am at Chitwan National Park in Nepal, where I traversed the forest by elephant, canoed to the animal sanctuary, slept in a bungalow, and visited the local villages, where a young girl put an “E” in henna on my hand—“e” for Emily, and, you could say, “explosive joy.”

Turning off KFKD


Let it be my prayer, oh Lord:

“Please help me get out of the way so I can write what needs to be written.”

—Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life