Jennifer Louden and Michele Lisenbury Christensen are beginning a new TeachNow program this week. I highly recommend it for anyone who is beginning to teach for the first time and seeking support and ideas; or maybe you’re an experienced teacher and could use some refueling and a fresh approach. What they’ve put together is terrific. It includes all kinds of great ideas and inspiration around the knotty issues of teaching—especially those things that we may feel but have a hard time verbalizing—like the pressure to perform, be perfect, or be someone other than who you are at heart. TeachNow helps you find, explore, and own your own style of teaching.
I wish such an innovative program had been around when I first started teaching. Teaching for me has always been a path of personal growth, and every challenge that I encountered was an opportunity to learn about myself, learn how to be in better relationship with other people, and learn how to better serve whatever situation I found myself in. When you approach teaching in this way, as a path of growth, having a “container” where you can process and reflect on what happened in your class is vital.
Jennifer interviewed me for TeachNow last spring. The last question she asked me was, “If you could go back and say something to the teacher you were as a young person just starting out, what would you tell her?” My response was this: “You have a gift and you can trust yourself. You don’t have to be so scared.”
What I see now when I reflect on her question, are deep roots. I believe all who are called to teach are holding something deep that wants to be taught. Your roots will look different from mine, but it’s the task for each of us to embrace our own uniqueness, our own depths. What our deep roots want is nourishing soil, and TeachNow provides that kind of nourishment.
You can find out more about TeachNow here: http://www.theteacherspath.com