I wanted to share this article as there is so much value in learnig to ask questions. Unfortunately most people, including our kids, do not know how to ask a question. This is even more important when we are making life decisions. I spoke at the recent Student Life Expo. In my speech I shared the importance of asking questions in order to get as much information so that good decisions can be made. Most people ask closed-ended questions which lead to a yes or no. The better choice is to ask questions that lead to more questions or open-ended questions. By doing so you can personalize your concerns and really focus on your needs versus the general need.

Toronto Star article, Good teachers teach us to ask questions: Macfarlane, Nov. 7, 2013

By: David Macfarlane Arts and culture columnist, Published on Thu Nov 07 2013

For happy reasons and sad, I’ve had teachers on my mind recently.
Happy because this week, on Thursday afternoon, Meric Gertler will be installed as the 16th president of the University of Toronto.

In the best tradition of academic subjects, the occasion of Professor Gertler’s installation will inspire arguments about how many angels dance on the head of the perennial question: wither the University of Toronto? But I’ll bow out. Meric is a friend and so, with no claim to objectivity, I shall only say his appointment is to be celebrated because he is a teacher. And because good teachers should be celebrated.
The sad news last week was the death of a friend who also happened to be a teacher. Bruce Grandfield was a year ahead of me in the school we attended, a school to which he returned as an adult.
MORE ON THESTAR.COM
Why great culture needs a greater vision
Multidisciplinary magic at the Banff Centre
My own quiet tribute to Alice Munro
There weren’t many of my peers who went into teaching. In fact, I remember thinking Bruce’s career choice eccentric when I first learned of it, but Bruce, it so happened, was one of those eccentrically rare things: a born teacher. He had an energy that seemed uncontainable. It was as if he just had to share.
Like most people, I can vividly picture the teachers who had an impact on my life. They stick in your mind, don’t they? While the others fade into a blur of above-blackboard wall clocks that if they counted off 40 minutes any more slowly they’d have stopped somewhere halfway through health class.
Miss Poole, in Grade 4, was the perfect person to have on hand when it started to dawn on me that this reading thing had possibilities. Mr. McLean was cool — an important quality for an 11-year-old boy and one that had the effect of making what he taught seem cool, too.
Mr. Perry was someone who could make 13-year-olds see that the study of literature and history were dignified, important pursuits — and how miraculous an achievement is that?
In Grade 10, Mr. Lawson taught us how to argue a point, a useful rhetorical device for anyone, but of exceptional (and immediately applicable) value to pimply 14-year-olds opposed to everyone and everything.
In our last year of high school, Mr. Humble taught us Hamlet back-to-back with Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. That was a time in my life when I would have included double English classes on my list of favourite things.
At the University of Toronto, I was lucky enough to encounter the likes of Nancy Lindheim, Douglas Chambers, Sheldon Zitner and Milton Wilson. Inspiring professors in wildly different ways, but all of them united in their belief in the complexity and richness of their chosen fields. If the details of their lectures are now lost to memory, the most important element of their teaching isn’t. They loved the subject of their study and, for that reason, felt it important to pass on. In some ways, that’s all good teaching is.
I suppose everyone is born curious. Or (see Toronto, mayor of) not. But the great gift of teachers is to show those who are curious that if they apply their curiosity in a disciplined and informed way, the more curious they are, the more remarkable the result.
Ask questions. That, in its most basic form, is what good teachers such as Gertler or Grandfield teach us to do. They teach us to ask questions: of our teachers and then, gradually, we learn to ask questions of ourselves.
Good teachers don’t teach us what they know. They teach us to take what they know and make it part of something else — something we’re working on, something that we call our lives.
davidmacfarlane.mail@gmail.com

Bookmark and Share

Tags: , , ,




logo

Share Your Thoughts
with sandra@2bempowered.com



Comments

Leave a Reply