Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Why Teach?

Another remarkable milestone was reached in the life of Christopher Dryden. This evening I enrolled to study a two year part time teacher training course. Had me first class this evening, really just about getting the paper-work sorted more than anything. It was a good evening overall and the course looks interesting in terms of what’s expected of us. The course tutor/lecturer looks very good in terms of being someone to guide us through the course and so it’s all looking promising for the years ahead.

So a good question to ask is – why teach?

There is a cruel statement that says those who can – do, those who cannot – teach. I think this a gross misunderstanding of what teaching is. I would say that those who cannot commentate which is seen in no better a field than football where the television, radio and newspapers are full of former pros who no longer have it in them to kick the ball but are more than happy to give the benefit of their wisdom about those who are playing. Teaching requires something far more than just talking at people.

I have found teaching to be hugely fascinating since I was taught at school. One special teacher who I’ve been reconnected to recently made teaching look fun and more than that made learning so wonderfully fulfilling. This was the seed to the desire of my heart to see people reach their full potential. Enabling people to do this is done through teaching.

There have been many over the years who have really shown me the value of teaching – not as a profession but as a vocation. This is why I have a strong position on the education system. My development is not so much about the system, but about individuals who bucked the system to actually engage with me person to person and passion to passion. The subjects I’ve loved the most are because of the people who have taken me deeper into it through their own passion and personal investment. Not really anything to do with systems, curriculum or any such thing.

Being able to share concepts and help people in their understanding and application of priceless gems fills me with enormous joy. Being part of the process of ingesting those gems myself whilst appreciating people’s different styles whether at school, in church, in conversation or in observation has shaped the man that I have become. To me teaching is so vast and such a pit for creative play that for it to be limited to the stuff of exams and paperwork breaks my heart. To see people assessed by their ability under artificial conditions at a certain period of time is so sad. To also see people never being able to see what they’re capable of because of repressive indoctrination makes my blood boil whether that is done aggressively or subliminally.

My own belief is that my mother suffered under such a regime and she is an incredibly intelligent who was never allowed to blossom in that intelligence. I’m not talking about English brilliance or holding profound concepts to mention in conversations, but an ability to work out her stuff and do what she was good at with diligence and creativity that Oxbridge dons would be stunned at.

I know my mother is no exception. I know many others who have not been released to express the natural intelligence they have in a given area – because it’s not about who is the most eloquent or verbose. So teaching – when it is creatively applied and transferred is about releasing people in those areas. I want to be a part of that process in whatever way I can and that’s why I want to teach.

As well as that there is also the fact that it’s a natural outlet for all the reading and writing that I love engaging in. I teach what I learn and get to write about what I teach. It is my desire to blog part of the journey through the course right here so look forward to meeting some interesting characters and coming across some intriguing techniques, processes and experiences.

Keep praying for dmcd, it’s been 7 years since I was last subjected to a formal education environment of this nature. I know I have it in me to excel, but I want to make the most of this opportunity to really do that – not to please me mother or me wife, not for personal prestige but to benefit others and primarily to bring honour to my Father who has granted this opportunity to me.

For His Name's Sake



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