Alice Temnick on Teaching, Learning, and Adam Smith's Education

moral philosophy sympathy impartial spectator pedagogy epictetus

February 16, 2024

Alice Temnick teaches IB Economics for the United Nations International School in Manhattan and is an education consultant with Liberty Fund’s Adam Smith Works and Econlib. Today, we begin what is going to be a long conversation about Adam Smith and education. We begin with Adam Smith’s upbringing and education and talk about our own. We discuss how important being a student is to being a teacher. Stay tuned for more!

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Read the transcript.

Juliette Sellgren 
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. Hi, I'm Juliette Sellgren and this is my podcast, the Great Antidote named for Adam Smith, brought to you by Liberty Fund. To learn more, visit www Adam Smith

Welcome back. Today on January 15th, 2024. Happy MLK Day. We are going to get into a topic that seems like a no-brainer for this podcast, and yet we have not talked about it yet. That's going to be Adam Smith on education. And I don't know, it's so weird because the quote of the podcast is about education. Adam Smith is also the author of the quote, and we talk about Smith a lot, and we talk about teaching a lot. So I'm excited to welcome the wonderful Alice Temnick on the podcast to talk about the subject and so much more. She teaches IB Economics for the United Nations International School in Manhattan, and she's an education consultant with Liberty Fund’s Adam Smith works. She warned me and I warned her and back and forth. So I'm warning all of you that this could very well extend into a multi episode exploration of Adam Smith and teaching and specifically teaching economics. So let's see where we get today. Welcome.

Alice Temnick 
Oh, thank you, Juliette. I'm honored to be here.

Juliette Sellgren 
I'm so glad that I get to finally ask you this question on air. What is the most important thing that people my age or in my generation should know that we don't?

Alice Temnick (1.46)
Yes, it would be an answer that I think a lot of your guests have given, but my take on it might be a little bit different. And it's about reading deeply and reading when you become interested in the topic, not putting it off and thinking, Hey, down the road, I'm going to have more time to explore this. I'll buy a couple of books and put 'em on my shelf and get to that later. It's to embrace that feeling of when something captures you so much that it's bothering you, you want to fit this new idea into what is your current set of knowledge. And my, I guess, suggestion is to go down that rabbit hole at the time that you have that energy and that interest. Have multiple books going at once. Borrow books, pay library fines, ask people for the referrals. Do book clubs, even personal one-on-one book clubs. And when you give a book to someone else to want to talk about it, be specific about, Hey, in this chapter 13 or in this idea. And I guess it's just to encourage that the habit of reading should form around your excitement and your interests, not just the prescribed reading and such that we all do through education. So yeah, I think that would be what I would answer there.

Juliette Sellgren 
And you're always giving such great book recommendations. I'm not surprised at all given who you work with and what you do, but what have you been reading recently?

Alice Temnick (3.27)
Oh my goodness. Let's see. Recently I always have a book club book going part of the No Due Date with the incredible Pete Boettke and Amy Willis who come up with just wonderful choices that we're involved with a discussion with each month. So right now, a nice deep dive into Man's Search for Meaning, right, Victor Frankl. I'm also just finishing an excellent work of fiction that I definitely want more of my economist friends to read, Trust by Hernan Diaz, a Pulitzer Prize winner that I'm kind of late to the party about. That's over a year old. Let's see, what else am I reading? I've got something else just started there. But yeah, typically three or four things at once, and that's not including the audio book that I do, a little bit of my commute on the ferry back and forth to work. 

Juliette Sellgren 
Then these are great. You've given recommendations like Bono's, biography, autobiography, I don't remember it.

Alice Temnick 
Yeah, right, right.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah. Things that I would never necessarily think to pick up but coming from you, then I do think to pick it up and I'm never upset about it.

Alice Temnick 
Thanks. Your recommendations are great too, Juliette. I remember both of our conversations in the two terrific times. I got to meet you in 2023. Of course we talked endlessly, but a lot of it was about books and our influences and what we wish people read more of and yeah, it's exciting.

Juliette Sellgren (5.06)
So let's get into Smith. I was thinking kind of to introduce this, that we're going to do a partly biographical Smith related and partly autobiographical you related type of beginning of this conversation where I ask questions that go for both of you because some of your stories are kind of parallel to one another in similar and different ways. So we'll take Smith then we'll take you and maybe what he's taught you or ideas that you have differently. And I guess to start, as I've started teaching econ, I've started to grasp what really makes a good learner and what makes a good teacher. And what strikes me as funny is that some of the best teachers obviously had to start out as learners. I guess all teachers had to start out as learners at one point. And I guess it's not obvious, at least it wasn't obvious to me. And so it was a funny thought, but can we start with what Smith's background was as a student and a learner before he became a teacher? And what were some of the pivotal moments and the people that influenced him along the way?

Alice Temnick (6.22)
Oh, I love that question. I love biographies and autobiographies, especially the beginning of all of them. I'm deeply interested in perhaps why I spend my life in high school with what shapes people and our influence in our families and our homes all the way up to that age 18 before the formal training of college. So interested in, so let's see. Let's start back with Smith's mother. Smith's father died prior to him being born, and he was raised by a mother, single mother who was well off. She did come from a land owning family, and Smith's father, a customs controller, had a good degree of money. So for a single mother in Kirkaldy, Scotland typically looked like it's pronounced [see audio], but I've been corrected by many as Scott that that is how we say that. So what do we know about the beginning of Smith's life?

He was a sickly child and mother was very protective of him. There's the famous story that I won't get into because everybody's read about it and heard about it, a little kidnapping when he was three and immediately returned more interesting. I have found tidbits about the fact that his friends talked about him as having an incredible memory, no surprise that he was a very amiable soul and he didn't play with the other boys, so to speak, I guess in physical activities as much, I guess because of the sickness. But at age 13, this nugget I think is pretty cool. He was reading and deeply devoted to and probably had a dogeared copy of Epictetus. Now there's two works of Epictetus. I'm guessing that it's discourses because I've spent some time with especially the table of contents of Epictetus work and wondering what a 13-year-old would just love about this stoic.

And in a really quick nutshell, again, I've gone down this rabbit hole separately. Epictetus was a slave and then a former slave. And unsurprisingly, he wrote a lot about what was fulfillment in life and sort of integrity and our own self-determination. And so this fascinated a 13-year-old boy. So this early influence, and if we can think back, what were those books like when you were a preteen that just he was a slave and of course was completely against slavery, which I think shaped very early Smith's thinking of self-management, liberty, et cetera. Oh, and the other thing about Epictetus is that he was known as being a great teacher. People came from all over the world to listen to this ancient Greek stoic. So we know that Smith attended one of the parish schools of Scotland, and there's nothing light about. Two things about that.

First of all, the schools were excellent in comparison to, well other places, Western Europe and even in England. They were taught in Latin that was from the Christianity history and many more men than women were educated. But there is a good chance that Smith's mother was not only trained in reading and writing as not many, but especially land owning family. Women were, but it was rather sophisticated. And so we know that these parish schools where fees were paid for attendance, a very important topic to Smith later in life we're excellent. And so he was well-read and then he goes off to Glasgow at age 14, which to us in the modern day sounds like it's a really big deal. That was a typical age. He was actually a little bit old for doing that. But one of the things that I only learned kind of recently about his experience at Glasgow was not that he was deeply influenced by a great mentor there.

This is probably the second most important person in his life after his mother is Hutcheson. We've all read about Francis Hutcheson and his influence, but I came upon, I think it's E.G. West, and I should jot down why I know some of these weird facts. Hutcheson was also known for this sparkling personality. He was animated and he, he attracted large audiences. And if I can say this word, he was a badass. Of course you can say that word. Oh, good. Instead of teaching in Latin, he was one of the first to teach in English and to teach about moral goodness promoting happiness, sort of not the full Christian a OK thing. But really cool is that he was seen as like a hero to students. And this is when Smith was here, and we don't know what role Smith had in this, but I'm guessing he was part of this crew.

The students defended Hutcheson in front of the presbytery, the Presbyterian church. Hutcheson was a hero to them and obviously influenced many of them, but certainly Smith with that love of liberty and free and a reason, et cetera, all of our incredible enlightenment ideas. But the fact that he was exposed to this vivacious, incredibly charismatic teacher when he was 14, I think is really important to the story of him as a learner and as an eventual teacher. Of course, then he won a scholarship out of Glasgow to go to Oxford at age 17, which is an appropriate age to do that. And think about where that is, Glasgow, Scotland, he wrote on horseback for a couple of days, I assume, with a group down to Oxford. I'm pretty sure the absent-minded Smith wouldn't have pulled that off himself. No, not at all. And here he must have shown up at Oxford the finest of all schools.

So excited. Here's this insatiable learner. So well read through his parish schools trained in Glasgow. He had other wonderful teachers at Glasgow. There were at least three or four that were these renowned teachers and mentors, but it was Hutcheson that really stood out and influenced him the most. So he gets to Oxford and- terrible experience. Any freshman that you've talked to that has gone off to college and just found that, oh no, this is not at all what I expected. I can only imagine too, there must've been a lot of rainy, gloomy, cold days in the dorm room, et cetera. It's well known as he documents this in Wealth of Nations that not only was it a time for him that was intellectual stagnation in terms of what he was learning from teachers, but he was downright hostile toward the institution, if you will, of teaching.

He found the teachers lazy and reasoned it to the fact that they weren't answerable to fees. They were paid by the state. He also just thought, generally speaking, they were very poor choices of people that should be teaching. So he was secluded. He did have a scholarly circle, but he did something now here about his own learning that I found he did later in life when he hit a period of boredom, and that's when he was a private tutor, but we'll come back to that. So he taught himself here. He was exposed to one of the greatest libraries in the world. And so for a couple of years, well, I guess went to these classes. He became the self-educated polymath that Adam Smith certainly was. He taught himself a bunch of languages and it wasn't so that he could speak them and show off as he points out more eloquently than I just said.

But he did it so that he could translate works and understand the essence of books and institutions and what he was reading about in those original languages. He especially liked translating French literature into English, which is interesting. He did later go to France where it was suggested he didn't know the language, but I found at least something that suggested he certainly did. Let's see, what else. So after Oxford, after this massive self-education that he did in Oxford, he then went back to Kirkadly. I know my answer is long, but this just gets too exciting. It's perfect. He goes back to Kirkaldy and hangs out with mom and cousin Janet. Mom is always there, loves him to pieces. He writes letters to her and tells her he needs new socks when he's in college, like mom is his bestie. And so he goes back home and for two years he tries to get a job as a get this tutor to some noble family.

Two years he tries to get a job and nobody wants some. One. Biographer suggests it's because of his absentmindedness that he didn't exactly present himself as something that would be your ideal of what you wanted your kid to become. He knew a lot of stuff, but I guess he didn't glow with the personal, I don't know, aspects that would've gotten him employed in this. So while hanging out at home, while mom and cousin Janet took care of all of his needs, he wrote and it's believed at that time, he wrote a lot of, what was the Philosophical Subjects, the essays about astronomy and the arts and literature, everything that he read deeply about. He began what would be his later, can I think of the full title of Lectures on Rhetoric. So he writes for two years, and then someone comes upon him. He does meet his friend David Hume, and he gets to do these lectures in Edinburgh.

He's not employed, he's not a professor. He just gets to go into these lecture rooms where a hundred people come and they pay to hear the lecturer, and it's competitive. You've got to be pretty darn good if you're going to attract people paying, et cetera. And here's where he starts to hone the skills where he says about commanding attention and of course practicing with his beautiful elocution. And he was so well spoken and was doing these in English. And so he gets to test out and say, yeah, I'm pretty good at this. And so lo and behold, he then moves on to Glasgow. And I certainly want to talk a whole lot about how he developed as a teacher there, where he started with kind of an interesting beginning and then moved into 12 years of what was teaching moral philosophy. But let me pause. I talked an awful lot. Yeah, how about that? For his upbringing, at least to the teaching part.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, no, that's a wonderful overview. But it's also so detailed. I love how you threw in all these pieces of information that went else. Would you learn that? But I'm glad that you're here telling us this. 

Alice Temnick 
I love useless facts. Yes. Except they're not in this case.

Juliette Sellgren (18.13)
Yeah. What's interesting to me is I think in your recounting Smith's story with this, I kind of had my own moment of connection with him where I was thinking about how as you go through school, even if you finish after college, or even if you finish with high school, you kind of develop this sense of a reviewer. You can review what you like and what you don't like from different instructors because you've been through so many different people and maybe me where I see maybe teaching in my future, and obviously in my present that's more clear because I spend time thinking about this. And maybe that's part of what drove me to do this. And maybe that's part of what drove him to do that. So I'm wondering, do you feel this, is this part of how you maybe leaned into teaching? And I guess can you give us your biographical, autobiographical, sorry, kind of story of how you've learned and how you came into being a learner?

Alice Temnick (19.26)
Wow. Yeah, I love that question and I'd love you to answer it too, Juliette. So I'll make mine. Yeah, lemme try to make that brief. I grew up as a rather nomadic child. We moved constantly, a couple of sisters, and the highlight of moving is immediately getting the new library card where we would check out whatever the maximum number of books was and devour them as we were often in a new location, not knowing anybody yet. My childhood was just a whole lot of a love of books and reading at school. I did well in it, but I don't recall being too influenced by incredibly passionate, terrific teachers at university, a lot of subjects, a lot of classes that were interesting to me. I certainly did my undergrad economics. I got supply and demand and my macro classes, some good labor econ, but not thrilling. I first started in business, I continued a whole lot of reading on my own and all kinds of topics that always interested me.

And it was actually dabbling in graduate school classes that I got my first taste of what would now be called development economics. And it was taught by an African student teacher at University of Pittsburgh where I was at the time I was taking classes through Decay University. And he talked without notes of the entire history of his continent, of developing institutions, of trade, of markets, of policies, of influences. And I just was so invigorated by the ideas of, well, what leads to the wealth of nations is what I was listening to at the time that I thought, whatever that is, whatever that thing is that he's talking about, that's what I want to learn more about. And so that took me down the rabbit hole of their late life and a lot of graduate work in economics and all kinds of other things, philosophy, history, I love everything.

And then I centered on economics and economic education and continued work in studying both education and economics and have taught it for over a quarter of a century and several very influential teachers in my adult life of going through my education process more than teachers, mentors, and then my incredible learning in 20 plus years of experience with Liberty Fund and exposure not only to incredible great works to read, but people to discuss them with chew on them with that just encouraged my curiosity and my interest in everything. Kind of like your curiosity and interest in so much Juliette. So can I throw that question back to you?

Juliette Sellgren (22.30)
Yeah. It's not something I've reflected on a ton, so it will be a bit piecemeal, but whether or not I was actually actively reading at any given point in my life, there were books everywhere and there were people talking about ideas everywhere in my life. And I was just incredibly lucky to grow up in the household that I did with the mother who I guess maybe I'm kind of like Adam Smith. I do write to her about I need new socks, but rather I'm texting her. So maybe I have Adam Smith to thank in part for the fact that I'm texting her instead of writing her a letter.

But she just filled the house with ideas and with curiosity and with thinking. And I think part of it is inherited through the institutions of my household, but part of it was, I guess inherited genetically maybe because I see these traits in my family members as well, which is just so awesome that I have this kind of built-in Clan of Thinkers. It's super fun. But my schools have always been super great from the beginning. I still know mean, especially in the community I grew up in. I didn't move at all. And so still our parents, me and my friend's parents still know some of my teachers from when I was six, and they were super influential, even if their influence is different from the sort of influence you get in high school or college. And there were periods where reading isn't cool anymore, and then reading came back into fashion, especially with, it was before Covid, but with the IB program, which I want to stop before I get too deep into the IB program because this is something that deserves its own exploration a little bit later maybe.

Alice Temnick 

Juliette Sellgren (24.32)
And I don't know, I think I had to relearn starting with teachers influencing me and kind of inspiring me to actually invest in my education, forced investment into my education and learning. But then when I got to college and even before that, even with Covid, I kind of had to learn how to self-teach and that learning is done because it's good for you and because you want to, and otherwise you can't move a rock that doesn't want to move on its own. Or I guess with gravity, maybe that's not the best way to explain that. But yeah, I do econ, I don't do physics. But yeah, I went through multiple periods of having, I don't want to say forced, but institutional reliance on educational institutions and also different periods of me learning on my own. So I guess to kind of turn this into a question, how do you think if you were to weigh Smith's learning, the institutions he grew up in, but then also something that seems super pivotal, especially to the stuff he actually produced was the time he spent on his own. And so I guess, what does Smith's story and what does your story tell you about learning on your own and the relationship between self-motivation and internal curiosity and the institutions that might inspire you or incentivize you to do so?

Alice Temnick (26.20)
Yeah, it's a wonderful question. I think to start to answer that I would want to talk about actual teaching, especially the beginning of teaching and all that is learned about that craft, and that's what it is- that is only learned by doing it. And so Smith comes from this incredible background, huge wealth of knowledge at a time, some suggest when the full expansive knowledge was palatable, at least as compared to what's available to learners today. He truly knew so much this boundless knowledge of world scholarship, yet that does not immediately translate or mean that someone has any idea how to teach. And Smith speaks to that very clearly at one point in Wealth of Nations too, of talking about how it's the teaching over and over again, right? He's talking about specialization of this craft that enables the teacher to get better and better and better at what they do.

That we make improvements at the margin certainly, and how we're delivering information, what we're focusing on. But what we really learn a lot about is that craft part of teaching is that teaching isn't separate from the student learning. It is absolutely an intertwined and beautiful dance and no greater fulfilling experience from any kind of work standpoint than that, that a teacher gets when the aha moment is happening with students in a classroom when their curiosity is so deeply bright when, as I think it's John Millar, one of his students, described that Smith would focus on a person sitting in the classroom in front of a post. And when that student was leaning forward, he knew that that's when he was especially engaging his audience and he was delivering what he should be. And if the student leaned back and was that look that a great teenage student can give you, he would then adjust and he would recognize that.

Okay, so he was extremely interested and then became from descriptions of him during those 12 years of teaching, what he loved, his moral philosophy, the writings that he developed and worked on and published in 1759, well into his 12 years of teaching. So what he was doing with writing that book was practicing running his ideas, his philosophies, his descriptions of them to an audience to get the feedback and imagine him live teaching us about his most original contribution to moral philosophy, the impartial spectator and the stories that he would've told and engaged his audience in, and probably that spellbound effect. And we do know that people traveled from far away to hear him that the wealthy, the nobility too rich to get a degree kids attended and took those courses, not to get a degree, but to be in Adam Smith’s classes. Also super important to this, I'm sure is what he modeled to students.

 I mean, students look for that in teachers. They hold teachers accountable for an awful lot. They are very quick to give you feedback about, well, anything that they think. And here is this genteel gentlemen incredibly well-spoken. He's always described it as amiable, but as students would describe too super friendly with students. So he didn't have some superiority complex about how scholarly he was at all. It sounds like he hung with them and chatted and probably had an open library. And so he loves students and as sometimes awkward as he might have been described as being, as his interaction with adults could be, and I've seen this and great teachers, their ability to connect with students is kind of unusual, but it's their element. And it sounds like Smith was everything in all of that. Now, to answer the second part of your question, in no way am I comparing myself to Smith only in the fact that I fell in love with teaching after I found a subject that I love so much and had this interest in, and I thought, well, I don't want to work in business teaching would kind of be this ideal career.

I guess I'll do that. And maybe I had enough of an inkling that I have this outgoing personality. I can speak anywhere and maybe that would work out well. So I wasn't completely thinking, yeah, we'll try it out and see if it works. But I fell in love with teaching and recognized how hard being an excellent teacher would be, and I continued to aspire to that. And it's not just about, certainly you have to have sort of a mastery, a command of your subject matter curriculum, what you're doing, what you're teaching, but continuing to understand learning and to interact with and to work with students to make yourself very vulnerable as a teaching personality to students because of the necessity of the connection that has to take place between a teacher and student for the absolute peak of learning. And Smith said that that teaching those years, those were the greatest years of his life, they were the best. He definitely tasted that feeling of how I can only describe as the bell rings, but no one knows it's the end of the hour. We're all so involved in this engagement, this discussion, this digging into this topic, this thing that we're doing lost in the moment of learning.

So he certainly tasted that what it probably will have to be another discussion, Juliette, is why the heck did he leave that? And I kind of look forward to being a little bit critical of Smith on something. 

Juliette Sellgren 
Oh, I'm looking forward as well. I want to, there's so much there, but I want to ask, how much would you pay to attend an Adam Smith lecture?

Alice Temnick 
Oh wow. Oh my. And which one? Juliette and which one?

Juliette Sellgren 
I guess it's your pick your favorite, the one that,

Alice Temnick 
Oh my gosh…

Juliette Sellgren 
Which one would you want to attend and how much would you pay to see it? That's the question.

Alice Temnick (33.36)
Yeah, yeah. Oh my gosh, that's almost too much to answer. I would want to say, can I have 30 minutes to just rethink about all of that? I would have to say that it would have to be one of his very important topics, his multiple conversations and teaching of sympathy, how we need to love not only to be loved, but to be lovely, and especially it's one of my favorite parts of Theory of Moral Sentiments is that talk about not only how we celebrate the joys of others, and that's what we like to do the most, but sorrows and that beautiful early into Theory of Moral Sentiments, the first three incredible chapters that I've referred to and gone back to so many times about connecting with someone else when they're in a deeply grief-stricken, sorrowful place and what our sympathy and ability to reach them as best as we can in that place by trying to put ourselves in their shoes, what that does to alleviate them of some of their own burden because they start to worry about us and how we're looking at their sorrow, and somehow we both become better for that, of course, from our connection, but we actually do this great service to that person in their moment of sorrow.

I think I would want to hear some of his early lectures on sympathy and his deep understanding of the interpersonal skills, our social being or how he evolved all of what he wrote about in over the first half of Theory of Moral Sentiments. I guess I'd have to attend a semester two Juliette.

Juliette Sellgren 
Yeah, I feel like I could attend a lifetime.

Alice Temnick 
Yes, but you asked me what I could pay for. Yeah, the going rate was good, and there was no question about it, but of course it got doubled when he jumped ship, but I said, we're going to save that,

Juliette Sellgren 
And I guess we're nearing the end, unfortunately. But what I kind of want to leave us with is this taste of what we're going to see later and what he learned and what you learned. But what do you think from historically and reading Smith and knowing his story and your experience and all of it, what are the characteristics that make a particularly good teacher and how, because I feel like there are different types of teachers that achieve different ends, and so I guess what are some of those to you?

Alice Temnick (36.44)
Yeah. Yeah, Juliette, the famous question you often ask your guests of, what do you think differently about now? I guess I'm a little bit ashamed to admit, but I'm going to go ahead and admit it. What I thought made a good teacher is something that has changed a lot over the course of my quarter century and more of being a teacher, but also of observing teachers prior to that for so long. I think, no, I definitely thought that personality, and if you will, those more like mine and what I was embellishing there about how Hutcheson was described and what Adam Smith, the outgoing, the overt, the demonstrative, the walking up and down the aisles and not afraid to make a fool of themselves, me a teacher, was an essential element to good teaching. Not that others couldn't teach well, but that part of it was necessary.

I guess it was something I used to think, and I know now that I'm wrong, was wrong in thinking that like you said, and certainly have recognized early, there are so many different types of very good teachers, and if I were asked, and I have done this to observe someone I don't know as a teacher and what would I ask to see or to watch to give any kind of feedback about my evaluation of their ability to teach would not be looking at the teacher in the front of the room or even seated at a desk, which in my past history, I would think, well, that's lazy and probably not good teaching is to watch the students just observe the learning alert, the engagement, the curiosity that's instilled. And I have come to know that there is great teaching that happens from very different personalities, the ways of behavior in the classroom, and certainly different curriculum and activities and et cetera and everything else. So I've definitely changed my mind about recognizing that there's not a list of characteristics that other than very obvious things, knowing subject matter and having a voice that can be heard, things like that, that I still sit in wonderment of all it is that makes so many different great teachers really good at the craft.

Juliette Sellgren 
What made you change your mind? Are there experiences that come to mind or moments that you think back to when you think about this realization?

Alice Temnick (39.47)
It's interesting. I guess in some of the more recent ones, it might be more obvious outcome stuff of thinking a certain way about another teacher, and I won't call it negative, just thinking that hey, they don't have those same personality traits that I thought were truly beneficial to it. But observing very good test scores coming out of something of a teacher teacher's classroom that obviously the teacher had some influence on, but more in watching later student behavior, students that come back to a school after they've graduated or several years in the college and that race back to see, and to talk to that teacher about how they influence them at that time and what their new learning is and why they're back there talking to them. You can’t make that up. You can't pretend that there isn't something so magical and deeply important about that. And I came to recognize very much over my long experience of knowing so many teachers over time, the connections and the influences that they have made on so many lives, and when they had personalities different from mine. I mean, coming back to what my problem was with an original thought that there was some overarching more important than other characteristics.

Juliette Sellgren (41.19)
So we're running short on time. So unfortunate, and we kind of already got to the final question, but I'm going to ask you this question that stems off of it and I think kind of gets at the of this and is a bit practical and maybe benefits me, but hopefully I think other people, right? But first, I want to thank you for taking the time to come on the podcast for the first time and definitely not the last time, so much fun. All that you know about Smith and teaching and learning and all of it. But what advice would you have for people who are trying to communicate ideas or new teachers or people who are maybe not even formal teachers? What do you think, partially based off of what we've talked about today, but even what we are going to talk about in the future, what advice would you have in order to come in strong and to maybe fight against those illusions we might have about teaching the misconceptions?

Alice Temnick (42.33)
Oh, well, that you have to start somewhere to not be hard on yourself. That being a new teacher has a learning curve of five years and that you're got to make mistakes. You get better and better, but you're coming into it with the most important thing and it's the desire. Wow. Students can smell that from across the room. A teacher that wants to be there, that has decided that that this one here is what they're dedicating their time and energies too. They got to apologize for mistakes that are made, but they come at it given it their best. Staying so engaged with your subject matter. I love the way how you talked about, it's really about ideas have constant comrades, colleagues. I work with the greatest colleagues on Earth to constantly get to talk and discuss your ideas with, because that's practice getting your thinking out.

Some people do it best through writing and sometimes it's through discourse conversation. I think the conversation is so critical because teaching is that give and take feedback circumstance between people and to take the time, which you don't get much time in the first couple of years of teaching, but purposeful reflection, even if it's like two minutes after a class of this is what went well and this is what sure didn't, I'm always trying out new things and on occasion it's like, yeah, no, we won't do that that same way again. Because that's what learning is, to make sure you go into it. Being yourself, you can't be anyone else and to recognize you can sure love doing it. It is an incredible way of life.

Juliette Sellgren 
Once again, I'd like to thank my guests for their time and insight. I'd also like to thank you for listening to the Great Antidote Podcast. It means a lot. The Great Antidote is sound engineered by Rich Goyette. If you have any questions, any guests or topic recommendations, please feel free to reach out to me at great Thank you.