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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Teacher: The Humble Servant?

"I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet." - Jesse Jackson

"He who is not a good servant will not be a good master." - Plato

"The public character of every public servant is legitimate subject of discussion, and his fitness or unfitness for office may be fairly canvassed by any person. - Charles Babbage

When it comes to teaching there is a bit of a myth related to the value of the humble servant, an individual who tirelessly does his/her work without complaint day after day.

While there's great strength in humility and a steadfast attitude in education, there's also potential harm with the humble servant myth since if all teachers were humble servants who did their work without share, voice, and choice, then would we be able to move systems forward with strength and good work?

As in most things, there's a good balance to be had here--a balance between listening and speaking, humility and assertiveness, service to others and service to self, observation and action, and following and leading.

I imagine the humble servant has its roots in religious, cultural, racial and economic roots. It has probably been analyzed through all of these lenses. I will think more on this topic, and if you have anything to add, please let me know.