Sunday, January 24, 2010

Step Stool

I have a memory of, as a child, having my own little step stool. If memory serves it was yellow, and made of fairly sturdy plastic. My sister had one too. The stools probably had our names on them. Mostly I seem to remember using mine to reach the sink, when brushing my teeth or washing my hands. I'm sure I wasn't conscious of it at the time, but that step stool had plenty to offer.

A step stool is sturdy and dependable. If my step stool had ever slipped out from under me, or broken while I was using it, I would have been nervous to try using it again (if, indeed, it was still usable). I would not have used my step stool if I had not been confident in it.

A step stool is easy to use. I probably didn't need much instruction in how to use my step stool. There should be nothing complicated about using a step stool. If my step stool had some sort of policies I needed to be aware of (e.g., ``Do Not Use the Top Step''), they were ideally clearly marked, easy to adhere to, and did not artificially limit the use of my step stool.

A step stool is easy to take with you. My childhood step stool was probably relegated to the bathroom, but had I needed it, I could have easily picked it up and used it anywhere I had in mind. Knowing that I had a step stool, one I was confident in using, I could explore further.

A step stool is easy to move aside. When I was ready to use the sink without it, my step stool wasn't in the way. If I wasn't as ready as I thought, my step stool would be there to give me the boost I needed.

A step stool is an appropriate height. A step stool that is already as high as I want to go only necessitates another step stool. A step stool that barely reaches above the floor doesn't offer much.

A step stool doesn't reach the whole way. Making me go the last step will increase my self confidence. Making me do work along the way will make attaining the goal something I can be proud of.

A step stool gives one a higher viewpoint. With it, I might be able to see my way from where I am to where I want to be. Indeed, with another viewpoint, I might begin to make new goals, more ambitious than those before, or in another direction. My step stool would let me look in any direction.

A step stool never stops being useful. My childhood step stool could still help me occasionally. Any time I wasn't using my step stool, it would work just as well for my sister.

A good teacher is a step stool. One that adapts and grows. That challenges itself as it offers and inspires challenges for those who use it. That delights in the success of those it helps, and offers encouragement and patience when things don't go well.


How's that for a teaching statement? Better than last year?

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