Responsibilities: What Is a Teacher?
DOI link for Responsibilities: What Is a Teacher?
Responsibilities: What Is a Teacher? book
During my ﬁ rst three years of teaching, my lessons were largely hit or miss. Sometimes it seemed like I had the entire class in the palm of my hand and I could do no wrong. On other days, the students acted like I was not even present. But the worst part was that I could not predict when lessons would work or why. I read a book called The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle (1968) and I found it captured the way I felt about my teaching. It is the story of a hapless young magician who is trying to save unicorns from extinction. Sometimes he ﬁ nds that he has great magical powers, but then, inexplicably, the magic is gone. The magician eventually realizes that humans cannot control magic. It only comes when there is a great need. During those years, I frequently felt that I was that hapless magician. I was always hoping for the magical lesson, but I never knew when it would appear.