Conversations on Education // 4


Generative which means capable of producing or creating has the synonyms: multiplicative, procreative, propagative and reproductive and is a fabulous overarching descriptor of liberated mentoring and productive teaching,  This word typifies the free, engaged and emulative teacher whose story is clear and whose methods are fair and productive.  She/he is true to her/himself and "gets" who they are and creatively engages in instruction which accounts for inevitable strengths and weakness in themselves and in their students.   There is no judgment of self or student, rather there is a symbiotic growth that reproduces the good qualities found in the accepting classroom.   Students love to emulate the confident, aware and equally flawed persona of their teacher because that teacher is honest, "not perfect" yet highly caring and non-judgmental.   The teacher recognizes that they can laugh at themselves, enjoy the antics of their students and their innately flawed "perfection" gives them the type of empathetic hearts that students so desperately crave .

As a student who grew up in a traumatic home environment, teachers were the life-line toward acceptance, awareness and the ability to "cut-myself-some-slack".   From the perspective of a kid that could not get her parent's approval even with high grades and strong athleticism, perfectionism was to be the slated downfall.   Perfectionism is always a by-product of a constricted mode because it is not possible and is generated from the "prove-one's self" approach.  Liberty that embraces unique yet "non-perfect" qualities is accompanied by an awareness that does not make a student strive for less; rather it inspires them to see what they can achieve despite their situations or their weaknesses.

Take the time to think about what generative teaching, devoid of any constricted modes could mean to you and to your students.   Perhaps brainstorm an honest list of items that would generate a truly accepting and highly productive year of teaching.   This list will have the "perfect" yet "flawed" you written all over it and will make allowances for real successes and brilliant stories of engagement and learning. 

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