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anne boyer’s rules for teachers

Yesterday the artist/choreographer Paul Hughes sent me a link to this list of rules for teachers written by the American poet Anne Boyer. They are inspiring, and I see that she wrote them after John Cage whose rules for students are all over the internet.

Rules for Teachers, by Anne Boyer, 2015

  1. only ask the questions to which you really need answers

  2. demonstrate uncertainty

  3. reconstruct for your students your own previous errors of thought and elucidate to your students what factors lead to a changed mind

  4. do not let the terms with which you understand the world get in the way of understanding it

  5. give up any desire to be the smartest person in the room

  6. remember that students have bodies and that bodies require movement, sustenance, rest, and relief

  7. leave an inheritance of dialectic

  8. preserve and sustain whatever delusions you’ve found necessary to behave in good faith

  9. every student is a genius

  10. do not be afraid to state the obvious

  11. a socratic bully is still a bully

  12. thoroughly prepare class, including making preparations to abandon your preparations entirely

  13. listen with your body

  14. suspect charisma

  15. conduct yourself in such a way that your students can eventually forget that you exist

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