Becoming a Good “Studier” Isn’t the Goal

Every day as a teacher overflows with amazing moments of connection, insight, and discovery and so many things that don’t progress as I had intended, interactions that feel incomplete, and situations that I wanted to play out differently.

I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the things I want to change and improve. For that reason I want to take a moment to savor this narrative that a student wrote about his experience in my class:

I am beginning to challenge the idea of whether I ever knew how society works and that’s difficult to me. In Mr. Block’s class there are many stories and events that the vast majority of the United States would find redundant and unimportant, and for the most part I did too until Mr. Block was able to bring all kinds of views into everything we do and each time he does I come to the conclusion that I didn’t know anything when we started and at the end I know every other way of interpreting events without being able to pick out an exact point of view for myself. And that I feel is important in at least one of my classes, where becoming a good studier isn’t the goal but actually redefining how I tackle problems based on other people’s actions. I am pleased to say that I really am starting to understand what taking history is all about. Truly, there is no better way to prepare for the future than to prepare myself with a power that comes from united views and cooperative ideas- like those taught in Mr. Block’s class.

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