Welcome to my deep dive into Stoicism and how it can apply to teachers and education.
"Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue." – Zeno of Citium
Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher who lived in the 3rd century BC. He founded the Stoic school of philosophy and is considered one of its most influential figures. Zeno's teachings emphasized the importance of living in accordance with nature, developing virtue, and cultivating inner tranquility. He believed in the power of reason and self-discipline, advocating for individuals to focus on what is within their control and accept what is beyond their control. Zeno continues to inspire and guide individuals in various aspects of life, including teaching and education.
In the world of teaching and education, we can learn quite a bit from Zeno. One of his famous quotes, "Better to stumble with the feet than with the tongue," can be applied to teaching.
The Power of Words
Our words are significant and powerful. When I think about Zeno's words, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself" comes to mind. Teachers must consistently remind themselves that they are working with kids, and kids, by nature, don't always know better. What we choose to say or not say plays an important part in fostering safe and encouraging spaces where students feel comfortable being themselves and recovering from mistakes.
Embracing Mistakes as Learning Opportunities
Tripping with your feet implies making mistakes, which can be seen as a natural part of the learning process. In education, mistakes should be embraced as valuable learning opportunities. Mistakes are good food. We should encourage students to take risks, make errors, and learn from them. Tripping is a part of life. Learning from mistakes helps students develop their resilience, which students can benefit from throughout life.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Zeno's quote also emphasizes the importance of actions. As educators, we are at our best when we lead by example and demonstrate the values and principles we teach. Teaching goes beyond words; it requires modeling the behavior and qualities we want our students to embody. By acting with integrity, empathy, and respect, we can inspire and motivate our students to do the same, creating a positive influence beyond the classroom.
The right actions committed during a moment of silence can be an excellent teacher.
P.S. - I write these for both you and me.
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