Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

12 June 2011

Jane Seymour Fonda

She is one of the most inspiring of all public figures, to me. It isn't just her extraordinary, raw, and powerful performances in so many good films from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, but also her dedication to social justice, her ability to age gracefully, and her constant re-evaluations of herself and her actions over time.

On one of her recent blog posts (she blogs!), she wrote the phrase "teach what you need to learn." I love this idea, because it approaches teaching from a place of one's own need to be taught. In thinking about my own pedagogy, I was reminded last week just how much listening is a part of teaching. The students - and this has been persistently true no matter what I am teaching and no matter who the students are - have to teach me how to teach them. Put another way, I need to learn (in every case) how I can best help them to learn.

Love her.