No hurry . . . yet all gets done :o

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu 

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“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

“TRUTH SIGNS” from Dr. Merrill Harmin

Most of the really important things I learned about effective education came from experience. The exception is a well-known fact — almost never applied in daily classroom realities — which was brought to my attention in a really good way by Dr. Merrill Harmin (2002), in his “golden book of education,” Strategies to Inspire Active Learning: A Complete Handbook [for teachers].

This is further developed in Dr. Merrill Harmin and Melanie Toth (2006): Inspiring Active Learning: A Complete Handbook for Today’s Teachers (2006).

My analogy is that we “cannot run faster than we are able” (which everybody knows). Likewise, we “cannot learn faster than we are able” either (which many curriculum structures and school system structures seem to ignore).

To remind us all of this basic fact, or truth, Dr. Harmin would post in his classrooms, and would ask other teachers to do likewise, “TRUTH SIGNS.’ These posters were not just wall decoration for the classroom. They were/are a vital teaching/learning tool about the fundamentals of education, the deepest need that students and teachers share: respect [and even gratitude] for each other. No matter what the behavior or performance.

Unconditional caring if you like. Uncondtional love, so to speak. Not much of it going around unfortunately. “Each of us has what each of us needs,” said a wall poster in a convent I was visiting once. “And why are we so slow to share it?” I wondered.

Dr. Harmin’s “TRUTH SIGNS” were not just for hanging on the wall. He and other teachers would refer to them frequently and point up their applicability for the moment at hand, the teaching/learning moment at hand.

Dr. Harmin (about to begin lesson, or a unit) would point to one of the “TRUTH SIGNS” and say:
“Now, before we begin, how does this truth apply to what we are about to do here?” Or more specifically, he would point to this “TRUTH SIGN”:

……………………………………………………………………………….

“We each learn in our own ways and by our own timeclocks”

……………………………………………………………………………….

Then Dr. Harmin would say: “So why is it OK if we don’t all get all of this right away? Vika?”

And Vika might say: “Because me and everybody in this class see things differently.”

“Sione?”

“Each of us walks differently . . . we have our own learning pathways.”

Elapsed time? 20 seconds.

Value for each student?

Priceless.

These are the kinds of  gems originally developed by Grace Pilon of Workshop Way (TM), and then further developed and promulgated by Dr. Merrill Harmin and a multitude of classroom teachers, and teacher/associates such as Melanie Toth.

Thank you Grace! Thank  you Merrill! Thank you Melanie!

Love and Gratitude!

Doc Meek, Monday, July 12, 2010, at Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. Resources:

(1) Grace Pilon (1986): Thoughts on Workshop Wayhttp://www.workshopway.org/resources/beginning_of_ww.pdf; also see the website on the Workshop Way today: http://www.workshopway.org/faq_1-7.htm

(2)Dr. Merrill Harmin (2002): Strategies to Inspire Active Learning: A Complete Handbook [for teachers]. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=129c7ed3e80d389c&mt=application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D1177db59cb%26view%3Datt%26th%3D129c7ed3e80d389c%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dattd%26realattid%3Df_gbjnbyw20%26zw&sig=AHIEtbTn42Gw6o42QpzCMa4xdt0bWbr2Tg&pli=1

(3) Dr. Merrill Harmin and Melanie Toth (2006): Inspiring Active Learning: A Complete Handbook for Today’s Teachers. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/1416601554/sr=1-1/qid=1278955627/ref=dp_image_text_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1278955627&sr=1-1


J. Collins Meek III, Ph.D.
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist: https://docmeek.com
PH (801) 971-1812 (Jeannette); Fax [801] 282-6026
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THE LEARNING CLINIC WORLDWIDE, INC. (Dr. Meek)
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