Just after starting The Zen Teacher, I realized a clarification was necessary.  In this project, I am not suggesting that I am THE Zen Teacher and that I have great wisdom, knowledge, and magical understanding about how to be present, create peace, or perfect Mindfulness.

Like everyone else, I am plodding along, trying to make sense of what to do in the classroom—figuring out what works and what doesn’t—in a profession hamstrung by an out-of-control testing machine, strangled by ginormous class sizes, and suffocated by bureaucratic arrogance. I am trying to learn how to be a Zen Teacher just as you are.  We are all approaching this, I hope, with a sense of Beginner’s Mind.  

I just wanted to hold up a model of what a Zen Teacher might look like (“The Zen Teacher might do this” or “The Zen Teacher might do that”), to give myself reminders of what might work, and to see if my intuition was correct that this approach might resonate with other educators.  After working on The Zen Teacher for awhile now, it seems as if it might.  

Last night, in the middle of a conversation about student engagement, a teaching colleague said to me, “Well, after all, we’re ALL still students, aren’t we?”  His simple wisdom was enlightening and I took to heart his reminder that it’s okay to always be learning.

Was the fact that this man had studied Buddhism, was well-versed in Zen, and had once made dinner for the Dalai Lama in one of the most well-known Zen Centers in the nation a coincidence?  Nah.  TZT