Teaching and the Mobius Strip

April 24, 2015

Young people are constantly seeking what is “real”. They want real friends, real mentors, real stories, real relationships, etc.  Educators are held to an intense scrutiny by their students to be “real” and often there is a demanding relationship process that stretch teachers to be caregivers, social workers, parent figures, disciplinarians, cheerleaders and advocates. Students seek reality in an ever-increasing synthetic world and that raises the necessity of real learning to a higher level. Some call it “authentic” learning. Some call it “real-world” application. Some call it “engaged” learning. Whatever you call it, most think it’s necessary for our students.

In the Journey Toward an Undivided Life, Parker Palmer discusses life on the Mobius Strip. He discusses the inner and outer teacher in all of us. Our inner teacher is our authentic self: complex and genuine. Our outer teacher is a professional operating within a difficult system.

How can we learn towards a more fluid teacher identity, where our inner and outer identities nurture our classrooms and schools?

In what ways will students benefit from learning in a less divided environment- knowing their educators “were keeping it real” and believed in everything that they did?

How would district administrators and school boards shift their leadership to move freely along their Mobius strip?

If we cultivated students to learn as authentic young people- scrutinizing the possibilities and continuously building self awareness- how would national and global citizenship be impacted?

We want students to experience deeper learning and graduate competent for the future. What does that mean? How is that expectation supporting the developing of authentic people ready to navigate the world secure in who they are, and what they want to be?

We must show students in every aspect of their learning experience how to develop their life on the Mobius strip and honor their development towards the people they truly want to be.

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