Silences in Teaching

Les voix du silence dans l’académie

Alexandra Fidyk

The writing of poetry and the tradition of deliberate attention to consciousness are as old as language for humankind and so cannot be partitioned among disciplines. Meditation looks inward; poetry holds forth. One is for oneself; the other is for the world. However, in practice, it is never clear which is doing which, as Rabindranath Tagore observes:

When the voice of the Silent
touches my words
I know him and therefore I know myself.

We can be held together in a class first by the intent of the words, then by silence itself.

Often, after reading aloud in class a particularly affective piece of literature, silence befalls us. It takes practice to let this silence be, to not shatter its weight with an unnecessary question or comment. As I learned to let silence breathe, I discovered other possibilities could arise from it.

Work Cited:

Tagore, R. (1997). The one and the many: Readings from the work of Rabindranath Tagore (W. Radice & K. Kushari Dyson, Trans.). Calgary, AB: Bayeux Arts.