Teaching has managed to work its way out of being a skilled occupation and has now reinvented itself as a model of utilitarianism. For a while being a teacher was to be part of some collective adventure, discovering the source of all desire for knowledge, drawing from the spring of enquiry, igniting the first flames that we had stolen from the gods. It moved very quickly into something that was more recognisable.
Teaching has become an assembly-line with teachers being dissuaded from using their knowledge, understanding, or insight, and asked to become mere operatives who are skilled in minor areas. There is not a panorama of experience out there any longer, but there are people who can perform decent, rudimentary jobs that ensure that the thing keeps on rolling.
Old stagers like me are seen as obsolete. We belong to the time before the revolution when classrooms were part of a cottage industry. They brought machinery in and brought managers to manage the hands on those machines. You couldn’t just decide to go and do something different because it just happened to occur to you that morning. Let’s say that a particular sunrise had sparked some special sense of ‘maybe’ just ‘maybe’ and had worked its way from a fancy to a free-flowing idea that formed itself as it went on.
There lay mistakes and dragons.
Sometimes the mistakes become outcomes that were previously unforeseen; happy accidents that developed from merely trying something new.