Tomorrow it begins. I walk into that empty room and wrestle with the demons of furniture and floor to create an environment of imagination and wonder. Will I meet any of my expectations? Will I sleep tonight?
“One of my favourite aphorisms about teaching comes from the Canadian composer and music educator, Murray Schafer, who says “Teach on the verge of peril.” Over the years I have been building the courage to do that. To me, teaching on the verge of peril means letting go of being in control. It means trusting that the subject itself will engage us and draw us towards learning. It means asking students what they most want to learn, what their biggest questions are, and then changing my course plans, if need be, to honour their interests and needs. It means speaking my mind about political issues. It means continually taking risks, going into class with questions rather than answers, and being willing to say “I haven’t thought about that,” or “I don’t know. Who could help us?” It means fending off the inner voices which say “You’re not TEACHING enough; you don’t know enough about this.”
~ Katharine Smithrim, Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, Vol 1, No 2, Fall 2003