I love inquiries.
My books have always been an inquiry…
an inquiry into art (Sky’s the Limit: The Art of Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey)
an inquiry into teaching (Getting Messy: Taking Risks and Opening the Imagination for Teachers, Trainers, Coaches, and Mentors)
an inquiry into how we know (Deep Knowing: Entering the Realm of Non-Ordinary Intelligence)
I love asking big questions that I don’t know the answer to and then going on a journey to discover what wants to be said about it.
My first teaching job was in the teacher credential program at UC Berkeley. Many of the students in the program had been teaching for years and they simply needed my course to renew their recertification.
My class was titled “Instructional Strategies” and…. I’d never taught a course before in my life.
I didn’t present myself to them as someone who had all the answers. My job was to be a guide, to initiate with my students a conversation about the subject of teaching.
I worked with whatever arose and I drew the wisdom out of the room.
Students loved my classes. They weren’t asleep at their desks. They were participating in an inquiry that was ALIVE.
I didn’t need techniques and detailed lesson plans.
For three years, I taught classrooms full of experienced teachers with no real techniques or “strategies” under my belt. The only real method I had was to be a learner, to try things out and learn along with the students whether they worked or not.
Even though I was a novice teacher, I was an expert in inquiry. That made all the difference.