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.
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.
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
Good lessons don’t need planning.
Good students don’t need teachers.
Good teachers don’t need materials.
Good learning needs no curriculum.
In fact, the best teachers make learning happen.
Nothing is uncovered.
No one goes home unlearned.
This happens afresh,
each and every day.
Teaching is what makes a teacher a teacher.
Learning is what makes a learner a learner.
Qualifications, age, height and experience
seating plans, homework, backpacks and inkstains
won’t help you separate one from the other.
Look in your classroom:
who’s teaching whom?
Where’s the learning?
Look and you’ll find
you’re no longer a teacher!
My original commentary on Chapter 27 can be found here.
Before language teachers, there was language.
Present before either the chicken or the egg, language.
Present even before humans, language.
Where did it start? Who can say?
It has been and will be.
So let the world arise from language;
let there be a word and phrase for everything that can be.
Let the teachers try to teach it, but do not be fooled.
Language cannot be taught. It can only be learnt.
When it goes out, it always comes back.
*My original commentary on Chapter 25 can be found here.
To be the very best teacher
you need to follow the path, not build the path.
“But the path isn’t clear!”
True, but look carefully and you’ll see the signs.
“But the signs aren’t obvious.”
True, but they can be seen.
“But not very well! I might be mistaken!”
True, but look again and you won’t be;
look again and the signs become so real
you won’t think twice about trusting them.
And this trust will give you the confidence
that the path is present in every class.
“How do you know this?”
Because I know this.
Original commentary on verse 21 can be found here
Acquisition mechanics remain undiscovered:
the mind cannot discover itself.
All we can do is watch language as it’s used.
Watch the users interact with their world,
react to what happens and what might happen.
Know how to be;
Know how to let others be.
It’s the easy way
with no hidden depths
to uncover within the darkness.
To teach language, be patient as the darkness subsides.
Hang back and let the students act.
The best teachers do not aim for perfection
and in not aiming for perfection,
what is there becomes perfect enough.
*My original commentary on Chapter 15 is here