A VISION ON EDUCATION
I still remember the moment when I, as a adolescent (I was 17), knew I wanted to teach:
watching - or rather experiencing - the movie "Dead Poets Society".
I really connected to many elements in this movie. Just to name a few:
1) the desire for freedom of thought
McAllister: You take a big risk by encouraging them to become artists, John.
When they realize they’re not Rembrandts, Shakespeares, or Mozarts, they’ll hate you for it.
Keating: We’re not talking artists, George. We’re talking free thinkers.
2) live to the fullest
What Neil said (a quote from Thoreau's “Walden") : “I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life … ” always remained a kind of motto.
3) dare to do it your way
Keating: Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular. Even though the heard may go ” That’s bad.” Robert Frost said, ” Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” I want you to find your own walk right now, your own way of striding, pacing: any direction, anything you want. Whether it’s proud or silly. Anything. Gentlemen, the courtyard is yours. You don’t have to perform. Just make it for yourself. Mr. Dalton, will you be joining us?
Charles: Exercising the right not to walk.
Keating: Thank you, Mr. Dalton. You just illustrated the point. Swim against the stream.
Nolan: John, the curriculum here, as set, has proven it works. If you question it, what’s to prevent them from doing the same?
Keating: I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.
Surely, this movie is also prone to criticism, but in a certain way it inspired me, touched me, ....
Now, years later and actually being a teacher, I realize how many of the elements that inspired me in that movie are still present in my work as a teacher, in my work as a researcher, and in my life in general.
Indeed, I want to be a teacher that provokes and stimulates free-thinking in my students. "Sapere aude" is the motto I was "raised" with as a researcher. Dare to think!
But it shouldn't stop there... learners should also dare to do! So I want to encourage learners to try, to experiment, to explore... and I want to support them in the process of doing it. Providing them with the tools that help them to do it their way. Learners must learn to go their own way! In my classroom, I always had 2 quotes hanging on the wall:
1. The teacher pointed the way, but I found it myself
2. Teachers open doors, but you must enter by yourself
to be continued...
What kind of teacher do I want to be?
I want to be a teacher who "connects" to his students, inspires and encourages them to grow as independent musicians. This means that I will not easily place myself "above" them, but try to be "next to" or "with" them as much as possible. It means I try giving them the tools allowing them to take control of their own learning process, enriched through the interaction with their peers.
Therefore, I want to know very well what I am doing. So I analyze what I do, read a lot, and do research, trying to acquire as much knowledge as I can. I try to embody this knowledge, making it my own so that I can use it in my own way.
So I want to be a "seeking" or "inquiring" teacher, who does not think he has the truth but constantly thinks about what can be done better, looks for new "tools" instead of sticking to the same "because it works".
"every master always remains an apprentice"