Welcome to the third installment of the Writing on Learning Exchange!
Thanks so much for all of you who contributed to the last two rounds. If you’d like to go back to Prompt #1, or to Prompt #2, please do! If you’d like to just start fresh with this round, that’s great too.
For guidelines on participating in the Exchange, please go here.
This week’s prompt: Who have you learned from? What did he/she teach you?
Additional thoughts to inspire you:
- We learn from our parents, and our teachers. But who else? Can you think of someone outside your home or your classrooms who influenced you?
- Of course, if a teacher or caregiver or sibling is the first person who comes to mind, feel free to go with that. Or to write about many people!
- Totally optional: if this person is still alive, you might want to consider sending him/her what you write. HOWEVER: VERY IMPORTANT: do not decide whether to do this until you’ve finished writing (ie. until all danger of writer’s block has passed).
Post your responses below or elsewhere – if elsewhere, please link back to this post, and direct us to your response in the comments here.
Image by Photonut
10 thoughts on “Prompt #3: The Writing on Learning Exchange: Who Taught You?”
Thank you for the prompt!
My response: http://literaryitinerant.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/who-taught-you/
I am delighted to find your blog on writing; the reason I started mine was to practice writing in a different style, that is, a style other than what I learned in school. And I am working on that. To your prompt then, there are so many ways to answer! One of my daughter’s favorite “toddler books” captures what I am thinking of this morning though: “My Friends” by Taro Gomi. Each beautifully illustrated page has a simple statement: “I learned to ____________ from my friend, the ___________.” Fill-ins are statements like “I learned to watch the night sky, by my friend the owl,” or “I learned to run from my friend, the horse,” and so on. This lovely little book delivers the global message that we learn all kinds of things, in all kinds of ways. Opening our eyes to the world, mimicking animals, engaging with peers, teachers, books, and with the earth itself (I learned to dig, from my friend, the worm) provides us with rich and layered lessons (or reminders, or examples) on how to be. Anyone and anything can teach a willing learner something new. I actually think my Mom taught me that long ago, and I love the fact that I can share that lesson with my daughter too, through the sweet and lilting words in Taro Gomi’s book (and many other ways, besides).
I have looked up some of the teachers who taught me more than I can ever thank them for. Especially since I came over to this side of the desk. A science teacher who I earned a D from (I had not enough math for the physics) comforted me when I had a meltdown about my family. My music teachers who let me do something I loved — sing. My drama teacher, who let me be more myself onstage instead of the insignificant person I was at home. My English teachers, of course, for permission to love the written word and make a career out of it, including a professor who I would have liked to say was my father, who understood me and nurtured my mind in a way my family could not.
Over the last few years I’ve tried to take my low moments, my rants about the system, my needle-toothed judgments about the people who not only get my goat, but butcher, skewer and grill it — and try to look at it from the perspective of learning. What am I learning about the world, this person, this reaction, this moment? What is it that I’m meant to learn in this situation?
That Gibran quote? “I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.” I am sometimes ungrateful in the moment, but if I think about it more, or meditate on it — I can find a way to be grateful that I know something more from whatever it is that’s causing me such distress. That is my hope; that I will always be learning something.
I haven’t just learnt from a person but a group. When I was 12 I join a group of high school aged kids we learnt all about zoos, animals, nature and conservation run through a Zoo. I learnt how to be myself and that I could be accepted for being me. I made life long friends for being myself and I no longer had to hide who I was. I learnt there were others who memorized textbooks in their spare time and who knew about binturong and peccary and other animals that aren’t commonly heard about (and they didn’t think I made them up). As an adult I am still learning from that group. I’ve learnt how to run the session and how to for positive relationships with ‘students’ without being too friendly. The group over the past 12 years I’ve been with it has taught me not just about nature but about life, friends and myself while providing me with skills I will use for the rest of my life.
I have also learnt from my year 12 maths teacher she taught me I needed to love myself and to care for myself as much as I care for others. She taught me it has been my journey through bullying and depression that will make me a strong and useful person to help guide others. She was the first person to make me see I might want to work with people and not become an animal crazy hermit who works with animals.
Anyway they’re the two that come to mind.
I can’t wait to read more of you blogs!
Reblogged this on Gypsy Mind and commented:
An educator/administrator by trade, I find this intriguing. It speaks to both the academic and the administration personalities in my multiperson consciousness.
Thanks for another great prompt! Here is my post about it: http://successfulteaching.blogspot.com/2013/05/who-taught-me.html
This week has been hectic. Monday I started teaching my first online writing course. My time was focused on what I would be teaching my students, not on who taught me. But I took a break today to finally address your third prompt: Who Taught You? I just posted my response on my blog.
Hello all, here is my response to prompt #3 Who taught you. below is the link. And while you are there poke around a bit.