| David Gane
Great teachers can contribute to a student's education in three ways:
- They can guide in theory the student along a more efficient path of learning.
- They can coach in practice.
- They have the responsibility to challenge students.
This is encouraged by multiple access points of information, through open access to libraries and the internet, and its resources of publications, blogs, books, films, podcasts, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and experts in any field, willing to share their knowledge.
This path can lead to deep learning. It shows a deep passion for the subject matter. It is about care and craftsmanship. Yet, there is still a danger.
In the summer of 2013, I hiked up Mount Olympus with my family, following a guide named Apostoli. The path was long but, relatively, not hard. I think anyone in decent health could do it.
Yet, on the second day, when walking to the base of the peak, the path narrowed between a cliff and a steep drop. It had been shaped by those who had climbed the mountain before us, built by their bravery, sweat, and sometimes, lives. There were certain parts of the trail that were built on loose rocks stacked on the edge. One bad step on the path could lead to danger.
In this age of information, we can climb the mountain on our own and succeed. We can carve out our own path, make it to the top, and be ready to make our way to the next peak. Still, there are plenty of loose rocks that can fall out beneath our feet and make the journey a lot more difficult.
My belief is that a great teacher is the guide up the mountain, that coaches the student to make it to the top, and challenges them to push further and higher than they ever thought themselves capable.