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Dec 02, 2016 11:12 AM EST

What Teachers Can Learn From The Ancient Samurais Of Japan

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Samurais are warriors while teachers are educators. The other kills while the other nurtures so what similarities can there be between the two? It might be surprising how educators of today can learn from these ancient warriors of Japan in a lot of aspects.

The great samurai warrior Shiba Yoshimasa said that if you are able to calm your mind and discern the minds of others, that is the foremost art of war. Being able to calm your mind lets you overcome a myriad of concerns. As educators, being able to do this and become the master of your mind helps you focus on teaching. More so, being focused keeps your passion alive.

Yoshimasa was not the only one who holds that principle or belief. Miyamoto Musashi, considered by many as the greatest samurai of all and the author of The Five Rings, wrote that even in everyday life with the determination to always keep calm. He further advised that one should meet all situations without any tenseness yet not recklessly with a settled and unbiased spirit.

How can you keep your mind when you have to think of your lesson plans, prepare assessments, meet with parents, and a hundred other ways can keep any sane person rattled.

The samurais of Japan were able to focus on their craft by keeping the thought of death in their minds always. This was like a mantra among these warriors. Research backs that up and even philosophers thought that by thinking about our deaths make us happier.

That's morbid you say but remember thinking what would you be teaching your students if it were the last day of your life? Most probably you will teach them something that would greatly impact their lives and you'll do it with much passion.

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