What do we need to act “as if”?


Perhaps when we act “as if,” we need to heed again Pullman’s words and “… act as if the universe were listening to us and responding. We should act as if we were going to win …” After all, the universe is listening. When we teach “as if,” it is listening and responding, our students listen as we listen, and they respond as we respond. Together, we act “as if” we are going to win.

We can be free to teach our hearts out. We can find confidence in our purpose, in our invitations to learn, in our celebrations, in our integrity, and in living our truths to make a difference in ways we may otherwise never realize.

If we decide to implement these ideas, we will need to believe in ourselves as teacher decision-makers—at least act “as if” we believe—and feel assured that our students will be the beneficiaries as they become lifelong learners—this is essential for their future.

So much happens when we live in our teaching. What appears outside our domain suddenly can have relevance as we see connections, insights, and serendipity. When powerful ideas appear, such as Philip Pullman’s “as if” and Eliot Eisner’s five principles, they open the door to new possibilities. They also remind us not to assume we know the future of our students, allowing us to imagine “as if” they may become Nobel Prize winners. Ultimately, it keeps us from succumbing to theocracies—and from creating our own.

Can we commit to act “as if”?


For more on this crucial issue see Chapter 17 “Teach As If” in Teaching from the Middle of the Room: Inviting Students to Learn from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Middle-Room-Frank-Thoms/dp/0615358918.

Image: thebestbrainpossible