Masters of Craft

During the last seven days I’ve been utterly spoiled: surrounded by the creations of masters.

We were privileged to see three plays on Broadway (and one at the Citadel which is soon heading to Broadway): the combined craft of the writers, directors, actors, singers, dancers, costume designers, set designers, musicians, lighting and sound designers, created stunning results.

We attended a taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where we watched a master comedian at work, using humour to make the news more palatable, contributing his voice to a collective conversation.

We also visited several galleries where we saw paintings, sculpture, glasswork, ceramics, and furniture all created by masters of their crafts: Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Bouguereau, and Klimt being some of my favourites.

Surrounded by these masterful works of art, I was inspired.

What does this have to do with our classrooms?

Teaching, too, is a craft. Consider this: have you ever watched a master teacher at work? Have you marvelled at a teacher’s (seemingly effortless) ability to inform, engage, and provoke thought? Have you observed this teacher connecting with students, building trust, and ensuring that each student feels respected, valued, and loved? Have you ever watched a passionate teacher inspire creativity, diligence, and rigour?

These masters of their craft may not create a tangible product such as a painting or a play. And yet, these masters help to create confident, compassionate, and thoughtful citizens.

When we teach, reflect, continue to learn and adjust, we too, can improve our craft. When we are intentional, when we are present in the moment, when we are passionate, we can inspire students to become excited about learning and confident in themselves.

A craft worth honing to be sure.

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