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Sunday, June 26, 2011

(The Response) Open Letter from a Student to a Teacher

There you are. Standing in front of us all for what seems an endless amount of time. How long will this go on for? Do you truly believe that this lesson is THE LESSON? What chance do I have in the real world if I choose to listen to your words? What opportunities will await me if I decide to buy in to what you are saying? What skills are you providing that will allow me to succeed in a 21st century world?

Each time you ask me to complete yet another meaningless task, I wonder: do you know that your teaching can be irrelevant? Does it scare you to think that you may not have much to offer me today? What things have you done to keep your practice current and engaging?

If I choose to speak out, you will reprimand me. If I choose to leave the work where it is untouched, you will penalize me. If I choose to complete what you assign, you will not notice me. I will need to determine how to play the game. My actions will be of my own design.

Perhaps I will decide to comment in discussions. Maybe I will try to improve on my work. In case there is a chance for me; it might make sense to listen to your advice. But if I take this on – if I take you on and your teaching – you had better not let me down. Bring your best because my attention is up for grabs.

And if when this year is over, you ask me what I’ve learned, I will respond with confidence: the things that matter. Some of those things are yours to give and others are my lessons to learn. In the end, you will teach me things. The content of them is up to you, but their impact on my future is solely my decision.

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