Standing a different river every day


You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are continually flowing on.” Heraclitus

You can’t teach the same class twice, for everything is changing.” Irene Stewart

Sound like a strange teaching philosophy? Perhaps, but for me, it contains a truth. Everything is changing; every time I teach, the students are different, I am different, the world is different (even slightly) and what and how I teach must be different too.

The students are different – every semester, every year, every cohort of student are new and have unique needs. What worked last year, last semester, or, for me with workshops, last week, might not work now.

I am different – I haven’t stopped learning either. I am not the same as last year, last semester, and, because of the Ontario Extend experience, I am not even the same as last week.

The world is different – and while I could give a bunch of different examples of all the ways the world different – it’s about relevance – what was relevant last year, last semester and even last week may not be relevant today.

That is why I review my plans every time I prepare to teach to ensure that I am responding to the change. That is why I keep learning. That is why I want to keep extending.

This post is in response to the Culminating Activity for the Teaching for Learning Module of Ontario Extend.

Photo by Omer Salom on Unsplash


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Irene Stewart

Learning and teaching is my passion; books, coffee and cats are my pleasure. Life is like a 3-D chess game I am playing in my head with the universe. So far, I am winning!

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