The Second Part of A Teacher’s Oath – A Comment

Brad Patterson posted the following question on his blog:

“Physicians have an oath, as do lawyers and politicians. ┬áMany organizations have mottos. What about teachers?”

Now I really do agree with all the inspiring things people have been writing in the comment section of his post.


In fact that’s the reason I’m writing this comment on my own blog – there is such an upbeat, motivating feeling there that I don’t want to influence the mood…

However, I believe that whatever a teacher chooses for the first part of the oath, the second part should be as follows:

I hereby solemnly swear to remember that teaching / learning is a “two way street”. I will memorize the words of the poet Shel Silverstein who said “This bridge will only take you only halfway there”. I won’t forget that what I do in the classroom is not the sole factor influencing the students’ learning process. I promise to get up every morning and start the whole thing again so that I can say at the end of the day – I’m proud of me. I did my best.

4 thoughts on “The Second Part of A Teacher’s Oath – A Comment”

  1. Hey Naomi,

    Couldn’t agree more and glad to have inspired you to share this. Like Stephen mentioned— finding ways to activate students is not easy at all, and I think it’s actually easier to lecture and to have a one-way street approach than to really sink into the 2-way approach and figure out how to not only engage them as a group but individually as well.

    Cheers! -b

  2. Naomi –
    my thoughts are: yes. a teacher opens the door, but a student must choose to walk through (paraphrase of famous Chinese proverb) Still, I need to remember that sometimes a gesture, a facial expression, even a tone of voice can trigger a pupil to close up, or even run in the opposite direction. I can try to be aware of my outer manifestations, each day a new chance for observation.´╗┐

  3. Brad!
    Thanks as always for igniting interesting discussions. My addition to the oath was meant for preserving the teacher’s sanity. One of the things I, at least, was never told at the university was that even if you do everything that can humanly by done, some students will not have learned what they could. Because its not all up to you.

  4. Judih!
    I really like the proverb – that’s what I meant!
    You are so right about the multitude of thing that can close that door. Being a teacher is a tricky matter indeed.

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