Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Teaching and Learning

It was Sharon, (writer of a blog I follow and who sometimes reads mine) who commented on one of my blogs about the wonderful world of blogging. She was wondering how long, if ever, it would take the rest of the users of the internet to catch onto how great a place it was. She was concerned that when they did it would never be the same again. I have thought about that from time to time. There is no doubt at all there is a wonderful community of people in blogging. But why is it so?

I think we find it so because we are able to find people who are interested in the things we want to learn and the things we want to share and talk about. We can select the blogs we want to follow and those we do not. I am sure there are some terrible blogs in bloggers world; I have seen some as I thought about Sharon’s comment. Some that I disagreed with strongly and some that it surprises me people have taken the time to write. I am sure that there are many bloggers who think that what I write each day is a waste of time and space.

I often thought as a teacher how wonderful it would be to have only students who wanted to learn what I was trying to teach. To some extent I experienced this in those who chose to take my subject to examination level and those who opted to be part of my lunchtime teaching classes. These students had opted to learn in their time with me. They were hungry for knowledge and a joy to teach. Could you imagine a school where you only ever attended the classes you wanted to?

The other wonderful thing about bloggers world, is one minute we are teachers the next we are learners. It is a sharing and supporting experience. I feel privileged that people take the time to read my blog and comment and allow me into their world to learn from them.

There was once a professor who had been told of a wonderful sage. He thought he would visit this sage to see for himself. When he met the sage he introduced himself remembering to mention his qualifications and expertise. He told the sage he was there to learn. The sage pulled over his teapot and two cups. He began to pour tea into the cup of the professor, who was still talking and talking. He pored till the cup was full and then continued to pour. After a bit the professor said to him, “The cup is full you can get no more in it.” The sage said, “Yes, his cup is just like you. How can I teach anything to one who is already full and overflowing with what they know already?”

This blog is linked to my other where I discuss the artwork used:-The Spark of an Idea


  1. Took me a minute to grasp the nugget out of the last, but grasp it I did. Such truth in your parables, Ralph. And yes; I think they are indeed parables. A looming headache has me unable to think on the blogdom for overlong! LOL

  2. Well that makes two of us Sherry I am in no much pain from my fall that it is probably me that is making it hard to understand. Thanks again for your kind words.

  3. Ralph, I love your stories : ) Always a gem of something to be reminded about or ponder over. Have you heard the one about the mayonnaise jar? I think you'd like it. I'll send it over to you. I really hope your pain starts easing up soon!

  4. Yes, yes, yes I love blogging on many levels.

    Yes - horses for courses - there's a blog for everyone.

    I have never been a teacher before, so I don't know how frustrating it can be to have students who miss the point of the lesson. Though I have been asked advice about 'how to get published.' And I have experienced, 'that look'. The look that says no, oh no that's not how you do it.

    Where are these people now? ... still griping about wanting to be published ... Where am I? - third book due for publication in the next couple of months.

    I liked the story of the overflowing tea cup. And I liked your cheeky little story about the elf on my blog. That made me laugh.

    Flattered by the mention of me on your blog!!!! Pleased as Punch! Made my day:)

  5. Hello Ralph, great entry today. Allthough I've never held a license to teach professionally, I have raised four children. Your story of the tea cup overflowing reminded me of when my four hit their teenage years. They knew it all, nothing for them to learn (especially from their mother...ughhh!) At the time my wish was that some of my teachings would seep into their brains and hopefully take root. It took a number of years, but, as my children grew into adults I am seeing more and more that my teachings did in fact take hold. I have a teacher(who I might add has her Masters Degree), a Criminal Justice Graduate, an electrician and a carpenter. And allthough this is their profession, I have found that all four know how to cook up a storm, fix almost anything mechanical, and never back down from a chance to learn something they did not know how to do. I guess in hindsight their teacups weren't as full as either they or I thought! lol