I am not Your Professor

I am a Tribal Teacher.

I do not offer solutions. I pose problems.

I do not give answers. I ask questions.

I do not know. I repeat. I do not know.

I do not profess. I suggest.

I do not lecture. I learn.

I do not inform. I transform.

I do not convey facts, figures and formulae. I tell stories, engineer experiences, and manufacture ordeals.

I do not teach with techniques. I teach with love.

I do not put on a show. I do not choreograph my movements. I do not memorize my lines.

You are not my audience. You are my collaborators.

I do not hold court. I do not sit at the center. The problem does. All eyes are on the problem.

I do not manage my classroom. I poke it.

I do not strive for order. I go for chaos.

I do not call on you. If you have something to say speak up.

I do not lead group discussions. I survive them. You will have to too.

I do not run a model classroom. When it is at its best it is rowdy, unruly, and cacophonous. But, it is magical.

I am not in charge. I repeat. I am not in charge.

I do not lead. I do not sort. I do not organize. If an opportunity to learn goes unexplored, I may point it out. Otherwise, I stay in my duck blind.

I observe. I watch. I listen. I take note of how you carry yourself, where you sit, the tone in your voice, how you communicate with others, and what words you use when talking about yourself.

I do not assign home-work. I assign while-your-in-your-sleep-work, while-you-are-in-the-shower-work, and while-your-in-another-class-work. This is how you will come to view the work we do together. It is never done. It is never complete. It is always on your mind.

I do not give quizzes. I give quests.

I do not hold review sessions. I host training grounds. I equip, prepare and ready you for the war that has no ending – the war with your demons.

I do not have office hours. I am on call 24/7/365.

I do not have a final exam. I have a crucible. We endure it together.

I only give letter grades because I have to.

I am not your professor. I am your Gandalf. I am your Legolas. I am your Samwise Gamgee.

We are on a journey to activate your agency. It will be perilous.  Struggle will be ever present. Your demons will be your constant companion. They will sabotage your efforts. They will create setbacks. They will induce long durations of self-doubt. They will make the prospect of failure grow and grow. But, you will carry on. You will fight. You will battle. You will scratch and claw and punch. You will slay. And, in that moment of victory, you will have reclaimed your humanity. Your eyes will be open, truly open. You will come to recognize the system that binds you, controls you, enslaves you. You will realize that you are more than a bundle of bodily passion responding to rewards, punishment, and incentives. You are much more. You can transform the world.

You will have tasted freedom. It will taste good. You will want more.

[bctt tweet=”I do not give quizzes.  I give quests. #TribalTeaching” via=”no”]

 

Shawn Humphrey, the Blue Collar Professor (www.shawnhumphrey.com)

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