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July 21, 2010 / Brent Sears

Model: Teaching Students to Lead Themselves

Growing up, my mother would always say to us,

Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

It is a Chinese proverb, but she never gave the Chinese credit.

The greatest teachers taught me to do for myself.  They were concerned with their classroom and the time we had together, but they were more concerned with the world they were preparing me for.  It was about the tests and meeting the standards, but they did everything they could to prepare me for the real world.  The real work was making sure that I was ready for the next step, be it high school, international travel, a relative or student with special needs, or how to fill out forms for an upcoming scholarship application.  What they all had in common was they helped me where they could, but I had to do the work.

Outside the classroom,they were always there to assist, but I was the captain of the ship.  I was directing.  I was leading; but they were certainly there helping me along the way.  It was the security of knowing that if I had a problem, I had people I could reach out to.  During the hard/difficult/frightening work, I knew they were there if I got stuck.  When the plan was a little flawed or needed tweaking, they chimed in, and helped me adjust.

They helped me grow by sharing what they knew, checking to make sure everything was set, and then letting me run.

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