Last weekend I went to NYC to attend the 2010 Surdna Arts Teacher Fellowship convening and spent 2 1/2 days with fellow teaching artists and administrators. It was an incredible experience – one that I will share in more detail at another time.
We spent quite a bit of time talking about what it means to be a teaching artist, how to keep the balance, and stay inspired not only to practice our art but to be the best teacher, and one idea really stuck with me.
One of the other teaching artists mentioned that surgeons use this philosophy regarding their time:
1/3 of your time is spent studying
1/3 of your time is spent doing
1/3 of your time is spent teaching
It seems so simple when you look at it like that. I have tried to adopt this idea and over the last week have found it truly freeing. I am giving myself permission to study and do, instead of solely teaching. And the fantastic bi-product of that is that I find myself more excited about teaching and I’m equipped with more ideas and inspiration. One third is my new mantra.