Home > Commentaries on TTC > 79 – a sexy prime. Mathematicians try to engage the public.

79 – a sexy prime. Mathematicians try to engage the public.

How many of you are managers? Presumably some management is involved whether you are a newly-qualified teacher or a seasoned, grizzly old DoS. If you feel this way, then this chapter is for you. It speaks of the need to settle disputes quickly and graciously. Lao recognises that tension never really dissipates entirely, even once a quarrel has been settled. But how can we minimise the impact? Well, we shouldn’t be looking for an opportunity to justify our previous grievances. No saying, “Huh! I knew you weren’t going to start to come to class more often.” If this is the case, perhaps the person isn’t coming to class because you don’t have a sufficiently high opinion of them.

People whose power is real fulfil their obligations/ People whose power is hollow insist on their claims. I think that this should be read out at any meeting of teachers (or managers). It is another reminder that we live to serve. Sorry for the bland cliches, but they once meant a lot and I think that a ghost of meaning is still lurking around the ruins. We belong in a social environment and our principle aim has to be to facilitate our own social involvement and the social involvement of others. Perhaps this is where I value progressive education over humanistic. As such, rather than focusing on ourselves, we are always only ever really focusing on how we fit into society or the image we wish to give to society. Even those people who are most self-obsessed are really concerned with this. Teachers whose power is real fulfil their obligations to their students, their institution, their cultural environment and themselves. Teachers whose power is hollow crush dissent with the power of their knowledge (and the odd page of Murphy).

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