The greatest teachers I have ever known share knowledge from a genuine love of sharing the joy of their learning process… The other kinds of teachers I have experience have taught me the misery of being taught.
I absolutely love learning, because my father has always set this incredible example for me, of how much fun learning and discovery actually are. Learning and discovery, not just from your own experiences, but what you also learn and discover from sharing what you learn and discover with everyone else.
Growing up I always associated laughter and joy with learning. I grew up at the school and my dad was always the person who made everyone laugh. Learning, is a place of fun and discovery where nobody is absolutely right, nobody is absolutely wrong, we all have different visions, perspectives and understandings, which make our interpretation of the same things, sometimes entirely new and original.
Learning, from the beginning of time for me was meant to be a beautiful, sparkly kaleidoscope. Then I went to NYC Public School and I would never, ever go back.
For the most part, school made me hate learning, not because of the content of what was being taught, because of the 9-5 methodology that much of the NYC school system seem to operate from. I had ONE absolutely incredible teacher in the 5th grade, Mr. Willens, he was so much like dad, he loved what he did and you can feel he loved you. He taught from the heart and made you think. He shared his knowledge to learn how you interpreted what he was trying to share and from there he made you a part of the classroom, a part of the lesson and more whole, thinker, learner and fuller person. So many of my NYC school teachers were putting in their hours to make tenure or seemed to have issues stemming from their own childhood, where they took social misunderstandings out on their students who may have resembled what their unpleasant public school memories may have been about when they were younger. Then there were teachers who were already tenure and just going through the motions until summer came and they were “free”. I would overhear conversations constantly where it was mutually understood that many of the public school teachers wanted to break free of school and their students, the same way us students, wanted to be free of them and of school.
Learning vs. being Taught.
To be a great a teacher, you have to love the humble art of learning which embodies the life long understanding that we never truly know everything, which is why we constantly seek knowledge and share knowledge.
Teaching should inspire a thirst for learning. Although, being taught something doesn’t necessarily inspire the thirst for learning. I never liked being taught, I thirst for what you make me want to learn.
Observing dad my whole life I always knew he was “the quiet” one in our family, even when he would get up and teach. He has this unique quality where his method is silence. Everything he does taps into this supernatural ability to create an incredible “silence” with what he says, so that his classroom is always listening.
My whole entire life I always understood the most powerful sound of silence to be that of my father’s voice teaching.
His manner combined with his intended message is always meant to make you feel what he is teaching. It’s an empathy that seems supernatural, because it is so nurturing to have the ability to create a silence that speaks in such a deafening way that it reaches each and every single one of his students to their core. You can always feel what dad means, even if you don’t “get it” you always get something from him.
Learning stems from a selflessness. It is a nurturing that is instinctively maternal and nourishing in the only way that true family is.