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Don’t Educate. Inspire to Learn: an ‘ode’ to a true teacher.

I had just started at a new school in my 9th grade. Everything was new for me at this school; the country, the environment, the curriculum, the style…it was nothing like the one I came from. I fell in love with it and somehow even at the age of 14, I knew somehow, this was a vital point in my life – a shift from what was to what could be.

Yet I didn’t expect Mr. A. He was our history teacher. Yet he hadn’t arrived. This was really out of the box for me. I had never had a teacher come tardy to school. He was 2 weeks late. We were curious to meet this teacher. He was also new at school.

He didn’t disappoint. He entered the school like a fresh breeze blowing. He was funny, easy, relaxed and very open about all aspects of his life. A bit too open if you ask me now that I am a parent.:)
Yet as 9th graders we all fell in love. Here was someone who openly spoke of challenging rules, he questioned authority, made us question everything we believed in. He taught us history like it was poetry. He turned it into the most fascinating movie we would ever experience. He talked with such depth and love for his subject. He knew it so well that no class was ever structured – we had an idea of the texts we were following but no structure of how they would be presented.

He always surprised us and took us on a journey into the past to show us what we could reflect on and absorb into our present.

The first thing he said to us in his first class, was that he wasn’t going to teach us anything other than the skills to access what we would need to know when we would need to know it.

He went beyond teaching us to educating us. Continue reading Don’t Educate. Inspire to Learn: an ‘ode’ to a true teacher.