Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Riddle: Teacher

I arrive in the seasons after
Love and toil have left their gifts,
Delivering hope to each generation,
A conveyance of word and deed,
Sometimes form.

I am not eternal, because I too pass away.
I bestow the pillars of Remembrance.
I order the traces, Set forth the feat,
Ensure the binding of all in one.

My bold pride is to enter the house,
Touching the smallest most often,
Honoring each, tethering as kin
All who would receive
Pythagorean lore.

My gifts endure past memory,
Which is my secret, my value.
I am honored in Craft,
Evident in Law,
Praised by Arts.

I suppose I should clarify this post. Firstly, riddles are an ancient Anglo-Saxon teaching tool. I became curious about this tool some time ago, and I have composed a few riddles to explore the form for myself. This riddle was inspired by my first observation of a home-based EIBI program more than a decade ago. A young woman had been flown in by the family to teach a local team of tutors what to do with a preschool child with autism whom I had diagnosed and for whom I had recommended the treatment.

Briefly, the first verse indicates the relation of a child's teacher to the family of the child. The second verse indicates the role of the teacher with respect to implementing the three term contingency in the act of teaching. The third verse refers to incidental teaching and stimulus equivalence relations. The last verse asserts that the teacher is best remembered and recognized in the fruits of education.

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