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Commonplace

Eric Hoffer“In times of profound change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned usually find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer

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“It is not the professor’s business to eradicate every form of what he takes to be retrograde and disgusting behavior. All student perspectives are welcome in class; whether they are racist, or homophobic, or whatever, they must be heard, considered, and responded to without panic. The classroom I am describing is a free space, one where people can speak their innermost thoughts and bring what is dark to light. They may expect to be challenged, but not to be shouted down, written off, or ostracized. Bitter, brutal thoughts can grow prolifically in the mind’s unlighted cellars. But when we bring them into the world and examine them dispassionately, they often lose their force.” — Mark Edmundson, Why Read?

Haim GinottI’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized.

– Haim Ginott