Archive for the ‘Tao for teachers’ Category


March 31, 2017 Leave a comment

The students no longer come to the class.

So lazy, you think, they don’t want to learn.

You’re wrong: students always want to learn things,

but teachers don’t always want to teach them.

Tell the inspectors you don’t have a plan,

and the inspectors will no longer come.

Like this, teaching cannot be seen or heard,

idiots who think otherwise don’t help.

It’s not true: if you build it, they won’t come.

Don’t build anything; you’re not a builder.

Just teach: they will all come and they will learn.


Categories: Tao for teachers Tags: ,


January 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Learning opportunities everywhere;

opportunities for teaching also.

Every thing is a complete lesson.


Nothing is useless. Yes, nothing at all!

But not everything will serve your purpose.

So, do you now propose to change the world?


Change and meddle, but things go their own way

pushed along by a much more powerful force

that is, you know, really no force at all.


Teach like this and there will be none better.

Not trying, you no longer need to try.


*My original commentary on Chapter 34 can be read here.


March 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Know yourself without thinking

and there will be no better teacher than you.

In self-control, who controls who?

Answer this and the world will listen.


There has never been a better resourced teacher than you.

All of this time, you’ve known every last thing.

Put away your books and teach the right way.

The impact will be felt for generations.


*My original commentary on Chapter 33 can be read here.


March 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Nobody can tell you how language is learned.

Everybody does it; nobody knows how.

If the how were uncovered

the world would be yours.

You would rule, the cosmos.

all things would follow.

There’d be no need for schools.

All would be clear.


Once you start looking for answers, you need to have questions.

Don’t we know enough?

Do we need to ask more?

Not knowing you know, you don’t know how to stop!

Know when to stop; you already know.

Ignorance is knowledge. Not knowing is knowing.


*My original commentary on Chapter 32 can be found here.



March 6, 2016 Leave a comment

If school is a weapon, 

against whom is it turned?

Are some weapons needed?
To keep whose peace?

When rules are followed,

what’s left behind?

When your lesson plan works,

what is the price?

When you’re left to teach,

can you learn any more?

What makes a good class?

What makes a class good?

Look closer and see

how each checked box

is carried aloft

on six swaying shoulders.


*My original commentary on Chapter 31 can be found here.


March 6, 2016 2 comments

There is only one way to teach.

Good classrooms don’t need rules.

Rules provoke resistance.

Good students turn bad

when the law’s laid down.

Learning never happens

because the teacher says it must.


What needs doing? Do it –

you don’t need to be strong.

It will all unfold,

let it do so

without glory,

without pride,

without loud boasts

without making it happen.

This is how it happens.


Throw yourself at it and lose your footing.

This is not the way.

When you leave the way

you lose your direction.

*My original commentary on Chapter 30 can be found here.


February 3, 2016 Leave a comment

Do you think you can find the key to how it works?

My friend you’re as deluded as can be!


There is no key.

There’s no secret; nothing to improve

nor make more expedient, nor efficient.

All your approaches are stymied.

All your efforts are wasted.


Sometimes language flows and sometimes it just drips.

Sometimes learning is sludge; sometimes silk.

Sometimes confidence surges and sometimes it ebbs.

Sometimes life is great; but then it hurts.


The wisest teachers avoid being the best, the worst, the wisest.

They forgo that extra mile whenever they can.

They have no laurels upon which to rest.


*My original commentary on Chapter 29 can be found here

%d bloggers like this: