In his book, Theodore Roosevelt on Leading: Executive Lessons from the Bully Pulpit, James E. Strock begins the chapter on Always Learning with the following quote from TR:
“As soon as a man has ceased to be able to learn, his usefulness as a teacher is at an end. When he himself can’t learn, he has reached the stage where other people can’t learn from him.”
I like this passage because it gets to the heart of good teaching and the “stuff” from which good teachers are made. It also serves as a reminder to us that we are always improving and striving to attain the “golden mean.”
What the quote implies is that no one person is perfect and that we all can, and should, continue to improve ourselves. The consequence for being complacent being unable to maintain effective and reflective relationships.
I am fortunate to have worked with an outstanding group of teachers and staff members. I can certainly attest to their commitment to learning. I am also lucky to have come into contact with so many parents and students who also embody TR’s sentiment in their lives. It is from them that we, as educators, are motivated to continue this honorable work.