Teacher as Learner

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For the past several years I’ve requested that my department be able to leave campus in order to take workshops together during the mid year Parent Conference Day.  Since we usually have very few visitors during that day, what better way to spend the time than to learn something new as a group.  This year we set up a private workshop on silk-screening at Shoestring Press in Brooklyn.  For a few hours we learned all about silk screening from Lane, the master printer.  As I took notes on the process and got into the flow of printing I thought about all the ways in which Lane made us feel at home in the studio.  He was patient, spoke slowly and clearly (using plenty of humor and metaphor), and exuded a calm presence.  He made us feel that there was no such thing as a stupid question and when we got going he didn’t hover  (he was just available when we had questions)  Watching him I am reminded why it is so important to give my students the space to work, to get into the flow.

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