Welcome to teachingontheverge!
This blog is inspired by a piece called ‘Singing Lessons: A Hidden Pedagogy” by Katherine Smithrim. In it she writes that:
One of [her] 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.” (Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 Fall 2003, p. 53-62)”
I’ve been inspired in my work by the preschools and early childhood centres of Reggio Emilia, by my colleagues and the children in my classes, by the time I spent at Bennington College, and by my on-going love affair with the Arts.
I’m lucky to be an educator in beautiful Northern Ontario.
Please leave a comment, I can’t wait to read your thoughts!