There is a moment when the labels that have previously delineated “teacher” and “learner” are stripped away.
A moment when the direction of knowledge, the point of origin, becomes impossible to identify.
You are at the epicenter of discovery. Everyone is swept up in this vortex of reciprocal revelation and reveling. Full of wonder.
I live for this moment.
I have come to call it “eduprocity”.
Perhaps this falling away of official titles is a function of having maintained relationships with students well beyond the classroom. Once they no longer need me to grade them, we can continue to move through life together offering insights, supporting one another, asking questions together, human to human.
One wonderful example of this are the cadre of former students who now watch, teach, and generally love on my own children. I came home from date night a few months ago and my former student (now simply friend) Amina was teaching Kip and Ivy Arabic.
Another student Allie, now lives a short walk across Patterson Park from me. She hosts dinner parties and play dates. Last snow day I put my kids in a wagon and we trudged through the snow to her home for cookie baking, cat chasing, and water coloring.
The presumption that a title makes learning one directional is perhaps the prime misconception and missed opportunity in ANY educational space.
Classrooms must not be isolation chambers of mono directional learning. No class is an island.
Instead they can be echo chambers of affirmation where synaptic learning occurs. Connections everywhere.
We must find ways not to be engulfed by senseless educational currents. We can find ways to foster these more gentle ebbs and flows of thoughtful and transformative exchange. This inhalation and exhalation of understanding. Whatever hits we might take professionally are worth the haven we create for our students and ourselves.
They need voices on the wind whispering other truths. They need to see that risk is how we learn.
Every young person who I encounter has a unique insight on what it means to be ________ . Helping them believe that, helping other adults believe that may be my Great Commission.
The good news? We are the stitch in time. We are the weavers of people into one infinite story that we may understand our connection and glorify each other on earth and not wait for heaven.
We are all wired to learn. We are all wired to teach. Sometimes we have titles that come with the act. More often we don’t.
Breathe in, learn.
Breathe out, teach.
(NOTE: This blog is a weaving together of two. One I wrote today. One I wrote January 15, 2014…but never posted.)