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edu180atl: lisa lópez 10.16.12

Inadvertently, I was sucked into a twitter hole. I spiraled downward click after click, colliding with meaningless fragments of real people’s identities.

Ready to reconnect with myself, I reached to click out, when suddenly I was face to face with a link to a trailer of a documentary film about one of my favorite teachers.  He has written over 65 books (19 bestsellers) and has made a purposeful difference in people’s lives.

I was reenergized.  The documentary was by his son.  “Even better, a fresh perspective,” I thought.

In the next 2 minutes and 47 seconds my perception was certainly altered.

The Master became transparent.  We see him unable to follow the rigors of his own teachings and descending from the pedestal.  Poignantly, it showed that his closest pupil could see through him.

It was a powerful reminder of the responsibility we have as mentors, to be true to our wisdoms.  Leonardo da Vinci’s words came to mind: “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.” It was a humbling moment.

My reflection leapt to the classroom:  What defines us as teachers: our titles, our resumes, our PLN’s and social network presence? Our words?  Or is it the choices we make in the presence of our students day in and day out?

Do you allow your pupils to play the part of Master?  Do you ever relinquish control of knowledge?  How do you connect with your students? Is it real and meaningful (for them) or does it simply satisfy an outside expectation? Are you aware when your learners become bored and disengaged?  What do you do about it? Do you leave your comfort zone and innovate on their behalf?  How would your pupils choose to define you in 2 minutes and 47 seconds?

I would say to Leonardo today: “Poor is the Master who is not aware his pupil has surpassed him.”

About the Author:  Lisa López is currently the Lower School Spanish teacher at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.  She is a faithful student of life, bilingual citizen of the world, and loving parent of four.

 The Caption for her Photo: My most influential Masters and Pupils.

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