Thursday, July 5, 2007

Everything I Need to Know About Teaching I Learned from Knitting

My mother taught me how to knit when I was 8 or 9 so that I could help her make mittens for the family. Since she herself learned this skill from my grandmother, I would estimate that I'm displaying techniques that originated at least 100 years ago, a living legacy of sorts.

I've recently picked up my needles again to join a group of school staff members who knit caps for local chemotherapy patients. I love choosing the yarn colors and textures, the item is given to someone who might need a boost in spirits, and the activity itself provides blocks of time for quiet contemplation.

So what do my hobby and my professional calling have in common?

knitting /teaching
patterns /lesson plans
low-tech tools /high- and low-tech tools
creativity (in colors & pattern variations)/ creativity (in presentation and learning activities)
practice required /practice required
uses critical thinking skills/ uses critical thinking skills
final product is a useful object/ final product is a useful citizen

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