The Ten Commandments of Teaching

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Bertrand Russel

Found this gem over at Brain Pickings.

7 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Ah, I have to let this sink in (and truly understand it, for english is not my mother tongue). Next fall I will teach class for the first time; and I know that I have still lots to learn.

  2. @Ingo, make sure to read the comments on this post then: http://www.swiss-miss.com/2009/08/question-for-my-readers-3.html
    LOTS Of amazing advice for teachers!

  3. Thanx for the link. Lots to read – lots to learn :)

  4. The article is worthwhile, read it if you can.

    If every classroom teacher kept these enshrined near and dear to them, and if it informed how they taught, perhaps even whole curriculums – well, you probably wouldn’t have creationism in your school room and we wouldn’t have chaplains wandering about at recess.

  5. I have another very important one. Make the learning environment fun and new everyday.

    If you can’t do that then you will never keep someone interested for very long, especially children, no matter how much you know or how brilliant you are.

  6. “Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.”

    But what is a “fools paradise?” If someone is happy and they are not harming others then who is anyone to call them a fool?

  7. Sounds right, if only Bertrand himself bothered to follow these

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