Friday, August 3, 2012

Teaching - building a cathedral?

There is a an ancient parable that goes something like this...

Centuries ago three stone masons were working together chipping away at large blocks of stone.  A stranger approached them and asked them what they were doing.
“I’m chipping away at a block of stone,” replied the first mason.
“I’m working to feed my family,” replied the second.
“I’m helping build a cathedral,” said the third.

Same job - but very different attitudes.

Teachers can be like that.  The task of teaching is a hard one that is slow to produce results - not unlike chipping away at stone. We all know teachers who have views about their workplace or their job that is similar to the first or even the second mason. We also know that this is reflected in their approach to teaching.   However, the good ones know that their “job” is more significant, that the rewards and the outcomes go beyond the here and now, that they are doing something of real significance.
Do our teachers think they are teaching phonics … or helping a child learn to read? Do our teachers think they are teaching computation techniques... or introducing students to the wondrous world of mathematics?

It is our attitudes that direct our actions...and our actions that direct student achievement. The challenge for us all is to see our actions, not as chipping away at a stone, but as building a cathedral.
Parable source =  anon
Image = “The Stone Mason”

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