Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Inspired Teaching Institute Day 8: Are we there yet?

After a fruitful discussion about lesson plans, an Inspired Teaching staff member referred to the list of questions that we used to consider the plans as a new “measuring stick.” With guidance from these questions, a teacher might take a lesson plan from active to engaging, from just an opportunity for students to express their answers in many ways to shaping the questions that direct classroom activity.

I imagine that if I were in the place of an Inspired Teacher, I would feel a bit relieved to see an example of an Inspired lesson plan on paper. Reading it in black and white might make it seem more real and more like something I could do. The space between participating teachers’ perception of their potential and this idea of an Inspired Teacher seems to decrease with exercises that are closer to teachers’ daily activities, but when will it close completely?

(Here comes the ever covetted and rarely granted straight answer.)

Never! The work of an Inspired Teacher is motivated by, as we’ve heard, a “divine dissatisfaction.” It won’t happen in two weeks, nor in a year because there is no finish line. And the awareness that one can always improve and become more radically creative means that a teacher of any level, in any subject can be Inspired as long as that teacher is willing to continue striving for the goal.

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