There are teachers in the world who simply have jobs. Then there are Teachers. Some people are born Teachers, and this may be encouraged or discouraged during the course of their life. A Teacher has an attitude of wanting to learn, and is often omnivorous in outlook. They may focus on favorite topics, but everything fascinates them because everything is connected. They may be found in a variety of jobs, because Teaching is an attitude, not employment. The best Teachers share their interests, but do not insist you agree with them. They realize each person has their own path. They are happiest when something they have shared helps another person to grow mentally/emotionally/spiritually.
A friend, D.J. Connell, posted a link on Facebook to a blog entry by Maria Popova, “A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching.” In it Ms Popova quotes from an article in the 26 December 1951 issue of The New York Times Magazine, “The Best Answer to Fanaticism: Liberalism.” Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying:
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
- Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
- Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
- Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
- When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
- Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
- Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
- Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
- Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
Am sharing this with you, because I hope it will stir thought and growth. I know it is doing that for me. 🙂