As a teacher I have long meditated on the relationship between language form, meaning and context; on the relationship between what I say and what each student will understand, particularly since I teach in a foreign language and within a culture that has different social values to British ones; I can only teach what I know, from my perception of the world and from my experience. The student cannot learn all that I am capable of teaching because his experience will not embrace mine. The student will learn more than I will teach; he will have experiences that I do not have and create connections that I do not perceive. Learning is multidimensional and the ostensible content of a course is only a small part of the learning experience. Our capacity to learn is related directly to our perception of ourselves, to the learning situation, and to our expectations and our relationship to the teacher and other members of our group. Fear, confidence, trust or mistrust, pleasure and perceived need will all play a part in our experience.
Like life, teaching is part the application of planned theory, part the outcome of unforeseeable accidents. WE attempt to convey certain information, approaches and certain cultural references: we desire to please, be accepted and survive: this is part instinct,part just what happens in the necessity of the moment and a whole load of emotional intelligence which cannot be made explicit:
I saw that reality might not be a fixture – crudely, inescapably there – but a continuing, spontaneous enterprise of the imagination. It might be shaped, remade, revalued again and again through each act of perception, each inventive gesture of relationship.
Lindsay Clarke, The Chymical Wedding