The Big Secret of Teaching

Photo on 2014-02-02 at 10.04


A mate just got a big book deal. ‘Oh,’ someone said. ‘Does that mean you can give up teaching?’

She looked horrified. ‘No, ‘she said. ‘It means I can give up worrying.’

Why would we want to give up teaching? Well, there are reasons, mainly connected to worrying…you might worry about not being retained by your institution, worry that you’re working too much to write, worry that you won’t be able to help your students as much as you’d like.

But the teaching itself is…well, it’s just jam for writers.  The Big Secret is that we learn much more from teaching you than you do from us.

Everything I say to you, I need to remember or relearn myself. Everything you write, inspires me or reminds me of how far I’ve come with my craft skills. The energy in the room of silent scribblers (which I talked about yesterday) is absolutely wonderful, a refreshing, enabling cocktail of concentration and effort that I absorb without doing a single thing but sit.

My students often come up to me and thank me.  I let them.

I’m good at keeping secrets.


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