66 – the most hot dogs ever eaten in a 15 minute period.
The seas and rivers are the most powerful forces on our planet, essential for nourishing life and brutal in extinguishing it. Lao points out that the sea is greater than all the rivers. How? By lying beneath them; the rivers run to the sea to make it greater,
Just so, sez he, the wise person doesn’t get up in front of people and stand on a soapbox to raise themselves above the herd. The wisest of the wise talks up to people, not down. The wisest of the wise leads by following. So it follows that a wise teacher will recognise that their pupils know more than they do. The pupil knows more about their ways of learning; about their lives; about their opinions; about their beliefs. The wise teacher will know that it is pointless trying to direct a lesson. It is better to surf the lesson and be taken wherever it goes.
But what about those teachers who have no choice? What about those teachers who must teach a coursebook or a syllabus on pain of expulsion from lucrative employment? What use are Lao’s words to people like this? Coursebooks don’t preclude acknowledging the individual’s strengths; nor do they preclude using any other material. Work in coursebooks can be given for homework.When talking about whatever you might be talking about, it should be possible to tie it into the syllabus. If you know the syllabus well, you will find it easy to be able to relate bits of your lesson to parts of the syllabus. In m yexperience, the difficulty comes in selling the idea to the students, rather than to the employers. This is why I think it’s essential to involve students with such a project as much as possible.