time to answer the teaching question

my father, himself a quite distinguished classroom teacher (my mother too, btw) sent me this absolutely wonderful commencement speech from ’82 grad Margaret Edson at Smith College.

my friend Andrew asked me to display in pictures what I seek to have my students learn.  I submit this as my answer.  and my ‘text’: i want them to lead lives of excellence, and i expect them to learn how to do it.  this involves almost exactly no information and exactly everything is about experience…mostly the kinds of experiences that make you lose sleep, cry into the phone, carry a notebook with you everywhere and scribble into it frenetically, dominate dinner party conversations, and inspire others.


funny.  i just realized how many of my students are readers of this blog, and i wonder if it does harm to the process to have me make my pedagogy explicit.  i think part of my game is hiding from them that i’m actually much kinder, more relaxed and forgiving, and less exacting than i pretend to be.

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