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.
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.
Students loved my classes. They weren’t asleep at their desks. They were participating in an inquiry that was ALIVE.
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.
I didn’t need techniques and detailed lesson plans.
Everything rests on who you are. Once you have that, the “how” is easy.
This is an excerpt from Getting Messy: A Guide to Taking Risks and Opening the Imagination for Teachers, Trainers, Coaches, and Mentors. Check it out on Amazon.