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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 13, 2009 7:30 AM

Teaching with no tomorrows

Today, I was supposed to write a teaching philosophy. I wanted to write about teaching about class, race, gender, sexuality, and nationality. Teaching about inequality and justice. Teaching about comparing, contrasting, and synthesizing cultures. Teaching about passion and humanity. Teaching students to think, live and love critically.

Now, I find myself weeping over another school shooting – this time in Germany.

This time I want to teach with urgency. With love. To teach community. To teach compassion. Looking out for one another, and being supportive. Leaving no one behind.

There is a social contract in the classroom. There is a minimal trust between students and teacher. Trust that he or she will teach me something valuable. Trust that they will try to learn what I have to give. Trust that we are safe in the learning process. That no one will try to hurt, harm, kill or maim us. Trust that has been broken again. Trust that has to be restored.

We must teach with no tomorrows. With no excuses for not teaching fully, passionately, and with abandon. With infectious enthusiasm, and a recognition that we are all human in our talents and faults. That knowledge is not wisdom, but it is a road to wisdom. And that above and beyond grades there are beautiful human beings.

We must teach as if it was our last course, our last class, our last day here, doing what we love doing.
Teach with no tomorrows. Teach as if there were no tomorrows.

Gyorgy Toth
Iowa City


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