Posts Tagged ‘natural’


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.



January 28, 2016 Leave a comment

The teacher has authority,

but unless it is revoked

and the teacher becomes a student

the teacher is no good.

We follow our path.


Every question has an answer,

but unless you keep looking for it

while accepting it will never be found,

your answers are no good.

Our path has no end.


Enjoy the respect you deserve,

but unless you understand

that respect is never deserved,

you will never be a teacher.


You knew everything

when you knew nothing.


Know nothing once again.

It contains all that you need.

The greatest teachers teach nothing.


*My original commentary on Chapter 28 can be found here


September 1, 2015 Leave a comment

That perfection exists, all students know.

Though this is all they know,

and look instead for what is good.

But you want to show them what is new

and so they fear, then hate, it all.

Objectives, timings, aims and stages

up-end the process; degrade the learners.

Under your supervision,

the only ones who get top marks

say, “We didn’t do anything. Not even revise!”

*My original commentary on Chapter 17 is here.


July 29, 2015 Leave a comment

Do you know how to live your life

without dividing it into work and play?

Can you respond to whatever comes up

without getting all breathless and flustered?

Can you see through all the confusion

without making things worse?

Do you need a teaching qualification

To love and help your students?

Between becoming a teacher and your retirement party,

do you really have to teach?

Is it possible to let learning happen

without making it happen?

To be a teacher, look after your students.

To be a teacher, forget “your” subject.

Don’t rely upon titles, books, certificates, job descriptions.

Be the best in the class, but don’t be the boss in the class.

This is teaching as it is meant to be done.

*My original commentary on Chapter 10 is here

It eight what you do, it’s the way that you do it

November 9, 2009 4 comments

This part of the TTC  sets out some guidelines for good behaviour. Primarily, don’t compete. Or perhaps it would be more in keeping with Tao to say, “Don’t bother competing”. Lao says, look at something like water. It does a lot of good things and makes a lot of people very happy (unless it’s pouring down from the sky or you were on the HMS Titanic), but it doesn’t actually try to do this. It can get places where we can’t (or don’t want to) and therefore, according to our sage, it is very similar to The Tao. Read more…

Five alive!!!

October 11, 2009 6 comments

Heaven and Earth are ruthless;

They see the ten thousand things as dummies.

The wise are ruthless;

They see the people as dummies.

Did you ever wonder why there weren’t more people called Ruth in EFL? Read more…

%d bloggers like this: