Teacher’s Heart

by beccaborrelli


It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living….

I want to know what you ache for and if you dare of meeting your heart’s longing…

It doesn’t interest me how old you are…

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive…

It doesn’t interest me who you know, or how you came to be here…

I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied…

I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

Excerpt from: “The Invitation” 

~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

***

Deactivated Facebook in an attempt to get a jump on this looming thesis proposal, and substituted that addiction with a ride on the Pinterest train. For those unfamiliar, Pinterest is social networking through creating virtual pin boards.

Pinterest has exposed me to more Art teacher blogs in one month than in an entire career prior. Art teacher blogs– like all teaching blogs– vary in quality and content. From what I’ve seen, most art teachers get into the blog business to share project ideas.There’s nothing inherently wrong with this practice. Still…

(I want to know what you ache for and if you dare of meeting your heart’s longing…)

Bulletin boards, cri-cut creations, techniques, management ideas, decorating tips, project descriptions, and standards-based plans… (ya, ya, ya)…  are only as meaningful and effective as the teacher using them. What we teach is not separate from who we are.”  

Who are you?

***

Some blogs I’ve seen are laden with classroom pictures, tips, tricks, and lesson plans. Some are political, or about technology, or about social issues. Many blogs are all of the above. Teaching conferences I go to are full of the same…

Symptoms of something larger.

[It doesn’t interest me what you know…]

Who is the teacher?

After the painted projects and boldly displayed art boards are taken down? When multi-colored files are put away and the brightly decorated classroom door is closed?

A compassionate, tender and powerful heart is the filter that all the lesson plans, methods and techniques must pass. Yet it is not talked about in research, it is avoided in the media, and it sure as shit isn’t talked about in regards to education reform (or for that matter social reform)… at least not in the sense that it is academically relevant.

Modern society fragments our lived experience. Leave technique to academia, and the heart stuff to artists and poets. The problem with fragmented experience, is that it creates fragmented people… teachers… children.

It doesn’t interest me if you can post engaging plans that incorporate principles and elements of design with dynamic  media and processes. I want to know what you will do when you’re up to your chin in red tape and bureaucracy… when a ten year old rolls their eyes during one of your favorite lessons. I want to know what you do when you give until it hurts… and then are asked to give some more.

(I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive…)

It is hippie, it is ‘new age,’ and it absolutely messy and hard to quantify… but none of those things change this truth:

Until those who work in education (indeed those who work in the whole wide world) consider, (and blog, research, and create conference workshops) about the Self and the Heart in a public way– in a way that values Self and Heart as serious modes of study… change in education (and change in society) will be half-hearted as well.

Pun intended.

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