Teaching & Developing

The ABC’s of Professionalism

Describing a teacher as “one who has a teaching certificate and works in a school” is incomplete and a slight against all others who contribute toward the development of people. Teachers are known by many names such as: mentor, tutor, trainer, advisor, counselor, leader, educator, coach, guide, role model, instructor, advisor, demonstrator, therapist, lecturer, rabbi, preacher, Jesus, supervisor, co-worker, friend, parent, relative, neighbor and author.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” — Charles W. Eliot

“And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.” — Bible, Luke 4:32

In reality, everyone is a teacher and a developer of people in some capacity or another. Teachers are givers. When a teacher shares information with a student who receives and understands its meaning, learning has occurred.

“There are three things to remember when teaching: know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly” — Lola May

Development is a special phenomenon of teaching that goes beyond learning. Transition from learning to development occurs when a teacher helps a student cross the threshold between “potential change” and “actual change” or between “knowledge” and “application.”

“Teaching is what you do to people; development happens within the individual. Teaching is an action; development is a process” — Gary Lear

“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” — William Butler Yeats

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” — Mark van Doren

This transformation is made possible through the expertise of caring teachers who share knowledge AND inspire students to creatively integrate it with their beliefs and behaviors.

“Change only occurs when the beliefs are impacted” — Gary Lear

“No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.” — Bertrand Russell

For each of us, as teachers engaged in people-building activities, two questions need to be asked: “What impact can I have?” and “What kind of teacher should I be?”

“Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” — Anonymous

Because learning and development beyond learning are critical to personal and societal success, millions of people train for years and make a lifelong commitment to teaching and learning.  What about the rest? How can we all become a more effective teachers? What kind of teaching model should be adopted by a professional who is not a career teacher? Three words come to mind: enlighten, engage and empower.

Enlighten

Enlightenment is the intellectual dimension of development that presents new information and processes then challenges the student to consider the relevance of both the old and new information as it relates to experiences and current situations. Some would call this “learning to think outside your box.”

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” — Socrates

“Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.” — Ezra Pound

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”— Lloyd Alexander

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”— Kahlil Gibran

Engage

This is the action dimension that creates opportunities for experiences to apply the new information, philosophies and processes so as to produce new and improved results. Some would connect this to the enlighten dimension by saying, “This is where the rubber meets the road.”

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”— Chinese Proverbs

“The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new.”— William Makepeace Thackeray

“We can teach from our experience, but we cannot teach experience.” — Sasha Azevedo

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” — Anonymous

“Every extension of knowledge arises from making the conscious the unconscious.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.” — Mortimer Adler

Empower

This is the emotional dimension. With help from an inspiring teacher, a learner discovers his desire to continue developing and applying new information and processes until they become a new pattern. In response, confidence builds and momentum increases causing real and lasting change to occur.

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” — William Arthur Ward

“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” — Patricia Neal

“The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.” — Thomas Szasz

“In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example – and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.” — Rupert Murdoch

Enlighten, engage and empower are interdependent dimensions of a comprehensive personal and professional development approach. Enlightenment points the way, but by itself has no action. Engagement and empowerment without enlightenment produces directionless action.  Empowerment breathes the life of momentum into enlightenment and engagement. All three legs are needed for development that goes beyond learning.

Understanding this framework is helpful in selecting an effective teacher. More importantly, adopting them will help you as a professional more effectively fulfill your teaching responsibilities. Take a moment to reflect on the many ways you help teach and develop those who are under your care. Then consider specific ways the Three E’s can help you become a more effective teacher.  In closing, here are more thoughts about teaching, learning and development beyond learning.

“You can teach a dog new tricks for rewards, but developing a better-natured dog will require patience and a want on the behalf of the dog to change.” — Gary Lear

“The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer” — Alice Wellington Rollins

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” — Sydney J. Harris

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”— Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.’” — Dan Rather

“The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.” — Anonymous

“You do not get out of a problem by using the same consciousness that got you into it.”Attributed to Albert Einstein

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”— Alvin Toffler

 

God bless,

— CC

[ S=Service | Index | U=Understand ]

© Copyright December 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

Optimize Your Optimism

The ABC’s of Professionalism

Do you remember Winnie the Pooh’s friends Tigger and Eeyore? These characters could be used to teach a seminar on optimism and pessimism.

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

— A.A. Milne (1882-1956), “The House at Pooh Corner”, p. 11.

Tigger: Come on, Rabbit. Let’s you and me bounce.
Rabbit: Good heavens! Me bounce?
Tigger: Why, certainly! Look, you’ve got the feet for it.
Rabbit: I have?
Tigger: Sure. Come on, try it. It makes ya feel just grrreat!

— Walt Disney’s “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” (animated film), 1977.

Probably the most familiar description of optimism is a comparison to its opposite using a glass that is half full of water. To the optimist it is half full – the pessimist sees it as half empty. Some hold a different understanding of these terms.

“We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic.” — Susan Jeffers

If so, how can the very same glass be unrealistic to one and realistic to another? They are both the same glass of water. The view Jeffers describes could only originate from someone with the mindset that we live in a world where outcomes are generally unfavorable.

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” — James Branch Cabell (1879-1958), The Silver Stallion, 1926

By the way, what causes pessimists to think they need to “save” the optimists?

“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? — Rene Descartes

An optimist, coming from a different emotional universe, has a more positive perspective. Good or bad, he makes the best of every situation and is more productive and happier because of it.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

“I will say this about being an optimist– even when things don’t turn out well, you are certain they will get better.” — Frank Hughes

“All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” — Bible, Proverbs 15:15

The current downturn and volatility of the stock market along with other economic uncertainty has many people stirred up to the point of panic. Not so with one of my optimistic friends who admitted to being behind in his long-term investment goals. He correctly recognized this situation for what it is – a HUGE opportunity to catch up. Stocks-based investments are on sale at 1989 prices!

An optimist goes on an adventure, while the pessimist stays home. Maybe this is a good thing. We need people to “mind the store” while the rest of us are out living life. Great leaders are optimists. Their optimism was not the result of their climb to the top — it was the cause. They go a step further, by their inspiration.

“For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else.” — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet, London, November 9, 1954

“The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” — John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life … in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.” — Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), Farewell Address, January 11, 1989

How can someone become more optimistic? It starts with a decision. Yes, it is possible to decide today to become more optimistic. Here are five steps to get you started.

1) Take a personal inventory — Write down all of your blessings. Focus only on the positive. If you’re pessimistic, you’ve spent enough time and effort dwelling on the negative. Post your list of blessings on your bathroom mirror, by your bed and other prominent places. Add to your list regularly.

“This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” — Bible, Psalm 118:24

“Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” — Psalm 106:1

2) Seek God’s help daily — Develop your new positive attitude through prayer. Give thanks for each item on your list of blessings. Seek forgiveness for your mistakes. Ask God for strength, wisdom and guidance.

“He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”

— Bible, Isaiah 40:29,31

3) Purge the negative thoughts — Throw away the negative stuff cluttering your mind. Write down your liabilities, barriers and excuses. Then tear them up and burn the pieces – literally! The next time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, take a moment to remember that purging process.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” — Bible, Romans 8:31

4) Fill your mind with positive thoughts — Without the negativity there is room for positive thoughts. Make good choices for what you read, listen to, and watch on television. Put driving time to good use — turn your car into a university on wheels. Even if you can’t feel it, your mind is hungry, too. Feed it daily!

“Pity the man who has a favorite restaurant, but not a favorite author.” — Jim Rohn (1930- ), Weekly Ezine, Issue 48 – July 26, 2000

“Before you change your thinking, you have to change what goes into your mind.” — Zig Ziglar (1926- )

5) Reinforce your positive thoughts — Start using positive language. Practice it until it becomes a habit.

Friend: “How’s it going?”
You: “OK, I guess.”

This type of response is no longer acceptable. Only words like good, great, and fabulous are worthy of an optimist.

“Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.” — Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

Follow the program and you will enjoy the results. Here are some of the things you can expect from your new attitude:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” — Willie Nelson (1933- )

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell (1937- )

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” — Patricia Neal (1926- )

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” — Anonymous

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.” — Susan J. Bissonette

Have a fabulous day!

God bless,

— CC

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© Copyright November 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com