responsibility

A classroom is not a place to replicate ‘real life’. A classroom is a place where you model equality and justice.

Teaching is not about having specialist knowledge to impart. Teaching is not about imparting knowledge. Teaching is about creating a safe space where people are treated with respect.

Feeling safe and respected is fundamentally necessary if a student is to take risks. An environment that favours competition, sarcasm, mockery, negativity and the replication of social injustices such as sexism, ageism and racism is not an environment in which people will feel able to take risks.

Taking risks (and failing) is the way that we learn.

Teaching is about taking responsibility for creating a space where people can learn.

Teaching is inherently subversive. Not because you are eccentric, or mean, or pushy, or cool, or a genius who loves avant garde ideas and art. But because the act of creating a place of equality and freedom is revolutionary.

This is true of every discipline and subject.  But in the arts, in any subject where students are expected to reveal their own selves and do the incredibly vulnerable thing of letting others see and judge their writing or drawing, then it is true a hundred fold.

The world would be a better place if there were better teachers in it.

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