Things Unseen

Words

I don’t take your words

Merely as words

Far from it.

I listen

To what makes you talk –

whatever that is-

And me listen.

Shinkichi Takahashi (Zen poet).

For me, Zen poetry (all poetry) brings the things unseen in everyday life into sharp focus. There is a power in the things unseen that can’t be measured, evaluated, planned or reduced to the mundane. It’s about relationship. When I think about how this relates to learning and teaching, I am reminded that two teachers can employ the same teaching strategies and get very different results. What’s different? Their intentions to connect with the learner. Some make that connection in everything they do. Some don’t. My son says it like this:

“Some teachers are teachers. Some are people who teach. I rather have the person than the ‘teacher’.”

Where the person comes first, the intention of the teacher will always involve the learning rather than the teaching. At least I think that’s what my son is saying.

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