Download Teaching Life: Letters from a Life in Literature by Dale Salwak PDF

By Dale Salwak

Half epistolary memoir, half instruction manual, educating existence displays on greater than 3 many years of educating literature and touching the lives of scholars. either a mirrored image on a lifestyles in literature and a primer on instructing as a vocation, this soul-stirring paintings additionally offers behind-the-scenes tales of the various authors who've encouraged Dale Salwak’s occupation. Written based on the unexpected loss of life of 1 of his scholars, who died tragically in an motor vehicle coincidence on her solution to Salwak’s place of work to speak over her profession plans, educating existence is an attempt to impart classes to the subsequent iteration of academics: “It used to be the suddenness of her loss of life, i believe, besides the utter lack of quite a bit power, which struck me forcibly, and that i stumbled on myself pondering if something I had acknowledged in school had made a distinction in her too-short existence or, for that subject, within the lives of any of my students.” via turns analytical, reflective, and exhortatory, educating existence unselfconsciously captures the fascination, enlightenment, and sheer pleasure that literary reports can supply professors and scholars. It additionally implicitly speaks to society's prevailing—and disturbing—prejudice opposed to the career.

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Just so with the teaching sabbatical. Oftentimes the sabbatical marks a turning point in the life of the recipient. It means carrying on advanced study in any field under the freest possible conditions. It means following our professional inclinations wherever they may lead. It means becoming a student again in the classroom of the world. It means having time to read more slowly and widely and deeply, to return to books that speak to us with a special intimacy. It means finding time for rejuvenation, for redefinition, for relaxation.

C. S. Lewis calls this the doctrine of “the Unchanging Human Heart,” and my belief in it underscores much of what I say in the classroom. This commonality can be oddly reassuring, especially to students—who are often immersed in examining various belief systems and engaged in deconstructing and reconstructing their own. As burdensome as our problems seem to us, we can be sure that others before us suffered through the same. You have no doubt discovered for yourself that the better we understand the struggles and triumphs and defeats of those who preceded us, the better we understand ourselves.

Most of all, the chance to connect with our students and the resulting joy when we succeed is what lures us into the classroom day after day, night after night. To follow the injunction at the end of E. M. Forster’s Howard’s End, “Only connect . ” Warm regards, [ chapter 4 [ A Pastor’s Heart Dear Kelly, You asked me what it means to have a “pastor’s heart” for your students. Well, John Milton in his poem Lycidas tells us what it does not mean. He writes of self-satisfied shepherds who are in the sheepfold not to care for the sheep but only to satisfy their own self-interests.

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