“Anyone who teaches at the university level encounters students with language difficulties who are nonetheless bright, eager, hard-working and thoughtful. These are the heart-breaking ones, for the reach of their mental capacities exceeds their grasp.” Vermont Royster
Playing with symbols is an effective means to parsing. Parsing and the terminology that accompanies it have value only as a means to an end.
Less is more.
We seek a curriculum in which teachers do not teach subjects, they teach people:
Planning ahead requires self-direction and self-discipline. Planning is something you must learn to do for yourself. To plan your time effectively, you must be conscientious and responsible. To follow your plan takes willpower. But the rewards for planning are enormous.
College admissions officers love anecdotes and a teacher’s characterization and representation of a student’s salient academic abilities: “He writes elegant, succinct analytical papers” or “He manages to ask searching questions every day that stump the class and keep us arguing through lunch.”
Teachers have tremendous power (and an awesome responsibility)––to instill confidence, to set directions, to teach perspective, and to share intellectual passions. The best teaching and learning often comes at unexpected moments. Our best experiences as learners should continually inform us as teachers.