March 28, 2009

...Teacher - a friend ( Part 3)


A teacher is a friend. "a friend of my mind...the pieces I am. She gathers them and gives them back to me in all the right order"(Toni Morrison). As Ayers says this bond of 'friendship does not end the last day of school' because 'a teacher affects eternity, he never knows when his influence stops'(Mitch Albom). Lessons learned and shared with a teacher can come back years later to help make important decisions, not very different from a best friend who is forever there when you need him. A teacher can be a lifelong friend from whom you have nothing to hide because he's been with you through the thick and thins of your early years. Much like a revolutionary , a teacher has the courage to hold up a mirror to your world and you, have the patience to listen to your endless excuses, have the resilience of an activist to be by you in your numerous failed ventures, and finally, much like a true friend, she has a unique love for you which always translates into meaningful action that'll always take up your cause in some way or the other.
If one day, one of my students looks back and remembers something they learned while in my presence, if they hear my voice when confronting a problem, if their thought patterns are forever evolving to adapt to a newer reality, then I will have left a footprint. I will have been a teacher.

14 comments:

bablu said...

Teaching indeed is a Noble profession. Continue the good work.

EXSENO said...

A teacher that cares is worth much more then the paycheck then they get. They are worth their weight in gold.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

As I was reading the first words of your post I said, oh I know this...Toni Morrison and her words are always amazing to me. Teaching is such a gift, and those who can reach others are amazing. What a fabulous post.

~Deb

Jaimie said...

I'm a teacher-and I love it!

human being said...

a friend indeed!

a friend of my mind...
yes... s/he does not own... s/he help me know more... to dream more... to go on...


this made me be proud... and more tolerant of the thorns...

thanks a lot my dearest friend, Id... these posts were great and i really loved them...
and they came to me so timely!

can i put the links to these 3 gems on my blog?

take care

Lotus Reads said...

Id, call me unlucky, but I can't think of too many teachers that impressed me in school or in college. It could be that where I come from teachers had huge,huge classes to teach so we missed interacting with them on a one-on-one level...it could also be that while they were good at imparting information they were not the greatest listeners. I feel sorry I don't have any really good memories of my teachers. Hope my kids' experiences are different.

I did enjoy the three posts very much though...

Id it is said...

Human being,
Your school system is that much the poorer for not having you on board! Just reading your blog makes strangers connect with you regardless of whether they agree with your post or otherwise; your ability to draw people in and have them participate sans all defenses would make you invaluable as a teacher! Entirely their loss for letting go of you!

Of course you may put these on your blog; it'll be my pleasure1

Eshuneutics said...

It's a pity that these are reflections. I would so like to know what you think now. Morrison's view, initially, sounds wonderful, but as I piece it together I find it one of the most stupid and arrogant statements on education. It assumes that the the child/pupil/student is in "pieces" and it is the teacher's job to put them in the "right order". Of course, she has lifted this from the myth of Isis and Osiris. Teachers too often believe they know "right order" They would be better teachers if they did not! From a psychic point of view, you do not heal by imposing known order onto a person: you heal by knowing the other's reality--the whole that they perceive. The problem with the Isis-Osiris myth is that Isis could not find all the pieces of the scattered limbs. That is an important fictional detail (at a surface and mythic level). Education is about our incompleteness and accepting this.
I would rather live by Dysart's cry in "Equus". "Ultimately we cannot know what we do in this place yet we do ultimate things." Teaching is not the jig-saw that Morrison suggests.

human being said...

thanks a lot, Id... for such nice and healing words... crow is overjoyed...
:)
also thanks for the permission...



and...
i think Eshuneutics' point is quite worthy to be pondered upon...

i've met such teachers both as a student and a teacher... and know about the damage they can bring about in the souls of the learners...

i got that image of the pieces differently... all of us on the path of growth discover we own various forces within... each directing us to one direction...

as we go on... and the process of individuation develops, these forces come together... to create a whole personality...

but this does not happen automatically, it needs awareness... knowing the forces one by one... appreciating them... making them friends with each other... teaching them to have dialogs not fights...

a good teacher (sure not anyone with that title) can help us to bring these forces together... also books... or even ourselves can be the guiding element...

a teacher can help not by imposing his or her frame of thought but just by sharing what he or she has gathered through life when gaining maturity...

sharing is just being friend...
and in this way we don't feel we are alone or confused if we need any support...

that's all... it's a kind of observing with love.... not changing through force...

i remember one of my students who was totally desperate about her love life...
she came to me and told me she had lied to the counselor of the university about her problems... as she'd found the counselor so detached and imposing...

she talked to me about her problem... her friends came to me and asked me to convince her that the boy was not a good choice for her...
but i didn't accept... they were really mad at me... and they said," but you are her teacher... she accepts your words..."

i was just available for her to talk to me...
sometimes i told her about myself when i was her age... and sometimes i talked in general about her abilities and her gifts... or about the way men and women may think differenly...

it took several months for her to find her way... but she herself decided for herself...

Eshuneutics....
you're absolutely right friend...
teaching is not a jig-saw...

teachers are just bridges... nothing more... they are there so that others pass over and go on their own paths...

namaste!

soulbrush said...

i thanks you for this as a teacher. mentioned so kindly in hb's post.

Id it is said...

eshu,
"It's a pity that these are reflections. I would so like to know what you think now"... that was quite the challenge!
I think a 'teacher' comes closest to being a 'facilitator cum activist' for learning.
I didn't quite interpret Morrison's view as you did, but I completely agree that learning does not equal to putting pieces together a jigsaw puzzle; learning is as much about creating new pieces to add on to the puzzle which evolves alongside the learner's ability to comprehend it. Learning is not a finite set and thus the role of a teacher defies definition. The one quality that makes a teacher special is if she is able to provide a dynamic and challenging learning environment to her learners which compels them to undertake their quest of knowledge with enthusiasm and insatiable curiosity.

I may add on to this at some point, but thank you 'eshu' for bringing me clarity on this subject,:)

human being said...

"The one quality that makes a teacher special is if she is able to provide a dynamic and challenging learning environment to her learners which compels them to undertake their quest of knowledge with enthusiasm and insatiable curiosity."

this is it!
oh i was reminded of a quote about teaching... i have it on my blog... i'll go and copy it for you...

human being said...

If you want to build a ship, don't
drum up people together to collect
wood and don't assign them tasks
and work, but rather teach them to
long for the sea.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery




again thanks for the discussion you triggered by your posts...

Shilpi said...

A teacher is someone who can look past you into your "self". She creates an environment where you can learn to leave behind your apprehensions and move forward to define your abilities. She encourages thinking, facilitates dialogue and helps you life the veil of your own ability. She respects you for who you are and steers you in the direction of who you can be. Thank you for being our teacher!