The Journey There is a distinction between learning to teach and becoming a teacher. Indeed, the significant albeit hidden work of learning to teach concerns negotiating with conflicting representations and desires. One must ferret out how multiple interpretations of the meanings of social experience come to position one's identity as a teacher. This involves scrutiny into how we come to know ourselves when we are trying to become a teacher. (Britzman, 1992, p.24)
Many people think that teaching is comprised of writing lesson plans, teaching a set of predetermined knowledge, following set procedures, and conforming to institutional structures. The quote above by Deborah Britzman, reminds us that teaching is much more than that. Teaching is an intimate and personal thing. All the possible decisions that we can make in our classroom depend upon our beliefs. The teacher you are and the teacher you are becoming are deeply embedded in the choices you make and the influences around you. Teaching is a root, a reflection and a manifestation of one's personal life history. And as Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. The same can be said in learning to teach.
In this section, The Journey, I invite you to explore:
experiences that have influenced my personal understanding of teaching
the significant events that have transformed my thinking about music and teaching
the problems and questions about teaching that continue to intrigue me
As you read through, you may want to reflect upon your own viewpoints and experiences and how these perspectives and experiences have influenced your own thinking about teaching and learning.
"To know ourselves when we are trying to become a teacher," may allow us to become more open to broader and more emancipatory views. And as Maxine Greene (1978) states, "persons are more likely to ask their own questions and seek their own transcendence when they feel themselves grounded in their personal histories, their lived lives" (p. 2).