The Essence of Teaching: Not Being Cool

I REALLY liked this article about teaching in the college issue of the Sunday New York Times Magazine.

To me, the main ideas were that it’s the teacher’s job to jolt the students out of their everyday way of thinking. That great teaching is essentially non-conformist and that you have to be willing to be a dork in front of your students to make that happen. And that its also a teacher’s job to open the students up–let them be uncool, vulnerable, open–to give them an opportunity to really experience new ideas.

Yet at the same time, I know I have a real awe and admiration for these kinds of teachers. They are totally dorks and totally cool at the same time.

The article also focuses a lot on a great quote from the movie Almost Famous: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you are uncool.”

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About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.
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