As we look at homes to purchase and work on contracts for offers, I’ve been acutely aware of how much I don’t know about realty and gigantic purchases. It seems there are a million variables to consider, all the while watching guard for being ripped off and trying to snag as good a deal as possible. Throughout the process we have been guided by the enormously helpful advice and expertise of our realtor. He has been there to help us through this immense decision. To give us options we may not have otherwise explored. To notice potential problems. To think about contract clauses and write them in legal prose. It has been tremendously reassuring to have him there. But I also feel a bit vulnerable. I am aware that he has the power to mislead and misinform us, either unintentionally or intentionally. It’s not that I’m suspicious, but I am not naive.
In all novice-expert combinations, novices are in a vulnerable place. My experiences over the past week have reminded me of the critical element of trust between teacher and student. It is my responsibility, as a teacher, to provide complete and accurate information to the best of my ability. It may be worth thoughtfully approaching how to developing trust with my students, trust that I’ll help them to learn content, but especially to think for themselves. I’ve always felt that way (indeed, it’s my professional ethical responsibility), but I’m especially reminded this week.