Ode to Teachers & Celebration of Learning


 ♫ Puff the Magic Dragon ♫

This week is Teacher Appreciation week for Pittsford Central School District where I have a child at the elementary school, middle school, and high school.

I was doing a leadership exercise recently and asked the team I was working with to share someone who made the most impact on them and why. Almost without exception a teacher was named. I can remember my 9th grade teacher Ms. Neal from Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia. She told me I was a humanitarian. I didn’t know what that meant at the time. Now I am trying to be that person she saw so long ago. I think people over-estimate leadership and under-estimate the power of modeling. When we are forming our beliefs and habits we spend more time with our teachers than we actually do our family and parents. We need to value and appreciate our teachers more for how they shape and mold us. It might be nice to send a letter of acknowledgment to a teacher who challenged, inspired, or mentored you.

This poem in particular is dedicated to Mrs. Pierson Griffin’s 1st grade teacher:

Teachers are artists.
The art they practice is awareness.
The canvas they use is the curriculum upon which they bring forth
an effervescent picture for the world.
The students arrive at the canvas, each bringing a unique and vibrant color.

The mixture of the student population gives beauty to the canvas.
The more diverse the population, the more colorful the painting.
The artist’s strokes are the skillful, gentle questions that she asks her students.
Some strokes are broad, confirming understanding. Some strokes are playful, discovering student’s current knowledge to find a benchmark to begin the lesson. Other strokes are so delicate that they barely touch the canvas. These strokes are the questions that stretch the student’s imagination and foster sensitivity.

Bloom’s taxonomy provides hue to the masterpiece.
The artist adds perspective to the painting by facilitating meaningful discussions and sharing observations. Once all the color has made its mark on the canvas and the painter has cultivated a glorious picture of a “spot in time,” with bittersweet emotion the artist gently places the work of art on the wall of life.
It is now time to stretch and prepare yet another canvas.

~ Jennifer Sertl

1) #learning: Teaching Smart People How to Learn (Argyris classic) | un-learn to learn ∞ #a3r

2) #learning: Data-> Information -> Knowledge ->Understanding -> Wisdom insight by Russell Ackoff

3) #learning: Passion & Flow by @jhagel

4) #learning: TQ vs. IQ in a Digitized Landscape by Michael Schrage | Trainability Quotient #a3r

5) #learning: My interview with Thomas Friedman ~CQ + EQ > IQ (curiosity + passion > intelligence)

6) #learning: Building personal capacity for #reflection … my point of view with @dramitinspires

7) #learning: How reading can increase critical thinking … my pov with @dramitinspires

8) #learning: World Book Day is Everyday … highlighting my favorite publisher Triarchy Press and Berrett-Koehler Publishers

9) #learning: How serious are we about learning? … sober view @cdnorman #a3r

10) #learning: Overloaded Circuits

I will close this series with my favorite quote of all time (ok – well one of my favorites!)

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
~ Antoine de Saint Exupéry

I leave you in “wonder” . . .

Ask a new question, and you will learn new things …
Keane – Is It Any Wonder?

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