Friday, March 23, 2012

Real Teaching & Real Learning

I’m passionate about education, and I’m passionate about teaching. I’m passionate because I love learning, and I love teaching. Sometimes I’m even good at learning. I hate it too though. And very often I’m pretty miserable at both. But the world needs great learning and great teaching. So I must tenaciously seek to fulfill my mission in regards to education and learning. In the process I’m grateful for God’s servants to help us understand His Truth in regards to Teaching and Learning. In the October, 2011 LDS General Conference Matthew O. Richardson gave a talk entitled, Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit. The following quotes are from this talk:
 I have learned that a key to becoming real in every aspect of our lives is our ability to teach in a way that does not restrict learning. You see, a real life requires real learning, which depends on real teaching.
In another post, I admitted that I hate teaching, mostly because I’m overly sensitive to anything that even remotely smacks of non-real teaching. Overly. Enough that I simply walk away from such teaching when I should find a way to help the world have more real teaching and more real learning.
While we are all teachers, we must fully realize that it is the Holy Ghost who is the real teacher and witness of all truth. . . . As we align our manner with the Holy Ghost’s manner, then the Holy Ghost can teach and testify without restraint.
This is both frustrating and comforting. Frustrating in that we over shoot the mark with our teaching so often. Comforting to know that all we have to do is lead the horse to the water. Then we just let the Spirit do the rest.
The Holy Ghost teaches individuals in a very personal way. This makes it possible for us to intimately know truth for ourselves. . . . . Those who teach after the manner of the Spirit understand they teach people, not lessons.
What is the implication of this idea of teaching people not lessons? How do we apply that? I love this question too much to even attempt to answer it here.
The Holy Ghost teaches by inviting, prompting, encouraging, and inspiring us to act.  . . . . You see, the Holy Ghost cannot learn for us, feel for us, or act for us because this would be contrary to the doctrine of agency. He can facilitate opportunities and invite us to learn, feel, and act. . . . . Parents who mirror the workings of the Holy Ghost create homes where families learn to value rather than just learn about values. In like manner, rather than just talking about doctrines, teachers help learners understand and live gospel doctrines. The Holy Ghost is unrestrained as individuals exercise their agency appropriately.
One of the things I hate about teaching are the things teachers ask us to do. What kinds of things does the Holy Ghost invite us to do? What kinds of things do the Holy Ghost not invite us to do? Again, I hesitate to answer that really great questions. I’m pretty sure, however, that the Holy Ghost did not inspire the study guides required in my 5th grade Social Studies class, even though I really did like my teacher, Dr Darden.

So my tenacious passion for Real Teaching must be about inviting the Holy Ghost to teach so that the Learner can act. How does the Teacher do that? What does the Teacher do?

I love great questions!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

HOW was this Abraham Lincoln?

My thoughts after reading Henry Ketcham’s The Life of Abraham Lincoln
Kindle Ed.
Born and raised in the Wild West, his mother, step mother and then he, alone, had the audacity to tame it within and without, for himself and a whole nation through companionship with formidable greatness. Along the way he found the eternally flowing fountain of hope and compassion for every soul struggling within the world they were given. Then, empowered by unbending integrity and resolve, he puzzled through to the heart of every dilemma in his path matching the incredible power of deception and oppression with truth, clarity, and purity. Acting according to his duty and with the greatness he had tamed and aided by his humanity, he carried the crosses of a lost generation.

And enabled others to do likewise.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

The man does not live who is more devoted to peace than I am, none who would do more to preserve it; but it may be necessary to put the foot down firmly. And if I do my duty and do right, you will sustain me, will you not?"

I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and work for me—and I think He has—I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know I am right because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and Christ and reason say the same; and they will find it so. Douglas doesn't care whether slavery is voted up or voted down, but God cares, and humanity cares, and I care; and with God's help I shall not fail. I may not see the end; but it will come and I shall be vindicated; and these men will find that they have not read their Bibles aright.

Let us forget ourselves and join hands, like brothers, to save the republic. If we succeed, there will be glory enough for all.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us,—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is it absolutely true

that a goal MUST be written down in order to be effective or viable or even worth making?

Goals are stars to steer by, not sticks to beat yourself with.

Barbara Smith
I have a goal that I'm working on right now, but I've been in the stick business for so long (think Personal Progress, very first goals) and this goal is so important to me that it's probably more of a prayer.

I think there's a hierarchy of goals based on how much of your heart it demands. Some, like a 'to do' list, may demand very little. This goal of mine (and, no, I'm NOT going to write it down despite the suspense it may be causing some of you ;) is demanding a LOT from my heart. Other goals may be somewhere in between those two. Whether or not it requires a written evidence of the goal, depends on a person's ability to keep that goal demanding what they want it to from their heart.

So, if anyone has a goal that you feel loathe to write down. Don't! Especially if it helps you look up enough that you can't find your stick!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

SO, What Will Matter?

My mother sent me this email this morning. After having so much of our lives turned upside down with recent underemployment, massive downsizing in our stuff, and then moving to a very new and very foreign culture, this certainly hits home.
Dear Family,

After weeks of trying to organize all our stuff I came upon this "What Will Really Matter?"

It is just what I need to finish organizing all the stuff we have collected. After another week of stuff, and three boxes of old letters yet to go through, I needed this article. I will file this under, Daily Read Stuff.

Love you all

Mom Broderick

What will really matter?
By Richard Schuif  - 8 Feb 2004

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end for each of us, this earthly life.
There will be no more sunrises, no days, no hours or minutes.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, ambitions, plans and to to lists will all expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived.
It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Your gender, skin color, and ethnicity will be irrelevant.

So what will matter?

How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built:
Not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage and sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by who and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice. 
Choose to live a life that matters.
And to my Mom and Dad:
As we watch your time here with us come slowly around to a close . . .
I want you to know that
YOU and everything you've stood for and fought for and become MATTERS TO US!!