The Tao (of Tao de Ching fame) implies how, i.e. how things happen, how things work. The Tao cannot be precisely defined, because it applies to everything, and it is not possible to define something in terms of itself. If a principle can be defined, it is not the Tao.
But while the Tao cannot be defined, it can be known. The method of the Tao is to become aware of what is happening. To do this, one must pay attention with an open mind. Personal prejudices or bias must be set aside, inasmuch as prejudiced people see only what fits their prejudices. What one can see is often limited by what one believes.
In the art of teaching, applying the Tao suggests the following:
A wise teacher lets others have the floor.
A good teacher is better than a spectacular teacher. Otherwise, the teacher becomes more important than the teaching.
Facilitate what is happening rather than what you think ought to be happening.
Silence says more than words; pay much attention to it.
Continual classroom drama clouds inner work.
Allow time for genuine insight.
A good reputation arises naturally from doing good work. But do not nourish the reputation; the anxiety will be endless. Instead, nourish the work.
To know what is happening, relax, and do not try to figure things out. Listen quietly, be calm, and use reflection.
Let go of selfishness. Let go of your ego, and you will receive what you need. Give away credit, and you will get more. When you desire nothing, much comes to you. The less you make of yourself, the more you are.
Instead of trying hard, be easy. Teach by example, and more will happen.
Trying to appear brilliant does not work.
The gift of a great teacher is to create an awareness of greatness in others.
Because the teacher can see clearly, light is shed on others.
Teach as a leader and a healer. Constant force and intervention will backfire, as will constant yielding. One cannot push the river; a leader’s touch is light.
To manage other lives takes strength; to manage your own life takes real power.
Be happy, content, and at peace with yourself.
Ultimately, Education is “to draw forth”. It is not to impose upon, as in what appears to be the primary technique currently running rampant in The Public School Nightmare. The prime beneficiaries of the Tao of Teaching must be the learners, be they traditional or non-traditional students, Indigo Children, or anyone else who is thirsting for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
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