Head of School's Corner
One of the enjoyable aspects of being at home is that I am surrounded by hundreds of books, most of them old favorites. The temptation to re-read a few has proved irresistible. One of these has the bold and evocative title, The Courage To Teach, by Parker J Palmer. This was a gift to me from Deerfield Academy, in Massachusetts, as a token of appreciation for a talk that I gave to the faculty there in February, 2003. I only recall this detail because there is an inscription on the opening page, with that date. I mention the book now because some of Palmer’s comments about teaching connect nicely with my remarks in this column last week.
Here is a sample. One of the features of powerful communities of learning, for Palmer, is that they are rooted in ‘the grace of great things’. This is a phrase borrowed from the Austrian poet, Rilke, in an essay that he wrote about the French sculptor Rodin, in 1919. In that essay, Rilke points out that he himself borrowed the phrase from a …
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