I am so grateful to have my position as a teacher. At the start of each semester I am reminded what a blessing and privilege it is to be in this position. I have heard way too many professors at my school talk about what they have to teach their students. I talk with my students about how we teach each other. Yes, I know a lot and I am here to share my knowledge with them. However, they have taken classes, experienced things, read things, taken courses, and know things I could not learn if I had not met them.
I am also reminded of how much harm the educational system has done to students. I remember reading a book a while back called A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger van Oech. He helped me to understand how our system has taught students that there is A right answer, when there is really not. He wrote,
By the time the average person finishes college he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes and exams. The 'right answer' approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. This may be fine for some mathematical problems, where there is in fact only one right answer. The difficulty is that most of life isn't that way. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers - all depending on what you are looking for. But if you think there is only one right answer, then you'll stop looking as soon as you find one. -
I remember reading this and thinking I did not want to be contributing to the right answer approach. This shaped my approach to teaching. So, while I do offer quizzes to ensure students have read, the majority of what I do is to provide them with the opportunity to learn and apply. What good is learning if you do not know how to use what you are learning and apply it to daily life.
We seem to do this spiritually as well. We teach that there is “A” right religion to believe in. This right belief approach becomes so ingrained in us that we tend to dismiss or devalue those that do not have “THE” right belief system. Our spiritual journeys, are not a mathematical problem. There is not A right way for people to believe.
What is for me is for me and what is for others is for others. I am less concerned about the path we all take in life to grow and evolve, then I am that we are growing and evolving. I am less concerned with there being A right way to grow and evolve then the reality that as a whole we are working to raise the vibrational frequency of this planet.
This is why in my teaching, regardless of the context, I am about looking for all the right answers and not just stopping at the first one.