Overall, I enjoyed the article and many of the points raised by the author. It made me think not only about the teaching profession differently, but I also started looking at teachers in a different light. One illustration given by the author, let readers see things from a teacher’s perspective in a classroom. He talked about how in class he sometimes feels awkward or that he is not doing things right. Many times, I have sat in class as the student and felt the same thing, so it was interesting to see that teachers might not have it as together as students might think.
This is what I focused on most when reading the article and what I plan to talk about here. For me, the part of the article which hit me the most was the beginning section called “Teach Beyond Technique.” One thing I found interesting about this section was when it talked about being vulnerable in the service of learning. As I mentioned above, the author’s illustration of himself in the classroom showed a vulnerability I have never seen in teachers before. This thought that there can be vulnerability in teaching was something I have never thought seriously about. Over my years in school, I have had teachers I have loved, teachers I thought were okay, and ones I never really liked. For the ones I never really liked, I could never figure out exactly why that was. I enjoyed the classes and the material we covered, but I always felt this disconnect with the professor as well as with the material.
The idea of vulnerability and what that means in school made me realize that if students cannot connect with their teachers then they will probably never connect with the subject material they are learning. If teachers want their students to be passionate about a subject, they need to show that same passion by being vulnerable with their students. Along this same line, the author mentions one time when he heard some professors arguing if sharing personal experiences in class that relate to the subject material being taught was a good idea. The author said he heard the professors say that sharing experiences was “more suited to a therapy session than to a college classroom.”
Again, this idea of vulnerability can be applied not only to teachers but also to students. Being able to take real life experiences and apply them to themes from texts or in class discussions helps so much when it comes to understanding material. Whenever I would apply material I learned back to my own life, it helped me understand what I was learning. By putting it in terms I was familiar with, I not only got a stronger grasp of the material, but it also had a deeper appreciation for what I was learning. I enjoyed this article because it showed how teaching is more than just following certain techniques, rather, teaching is about being vulnerable enough to connect with students to help them develop a passion for learning.