A Great Answer to the Wrong Question

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Recently, I was conducting a follow-up visit to a chemistry class.  For the life of me I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on.  The students had clustered their desks into a big ball, there were all engaged in 2-3 person discussions and the teacher was helping a student.

So I asked a student, “What’s the purpose of this class?

The student explained that there were setting personal and group goals for learning. Which I thought was an excellent activity, being that the Spring Semester had just begun.  When I looked back up, Mr. Newton (the teacher) was looking at me, seeming somewhat confused. I thanked him and left to observe another class.

It seems that Mr. Newton was confused because he though I was asking him, “What is your purpose in this class?” 

How do I know this? Because that evening he sent me the following:

SC,

I thought about your question of, “What is my purpose in the classroom?”  
Here is how I view my role:

1. I must be the most curious student in the class
2. I must be a member of a group of chefs (teachers) who daily produce a buffet of healthy choices (learning opportunities).  Because in nature, when an organism is exposed to a variety of healthy food sources, it tends to choose the most successful diet.

A great answer to a question I didn’t ask, but we all ought to ask ourselves.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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