In John Spencer's post "Just Teach Them To Solve for X" he says "...metaphors are dangerous...life is dangerous...learning is dangerous." I highly agree with him wanting to show his students this message. It is so true and teachers want to make things easier on their students. The problem with this is life is not easy. As a parent of three, I make sure I do not "sugarcoat" anything for my children. I want them to know they might not like my answer, but it is the truth.
I also believe he and Dr. Strange are a lot alike...Dr. Strange doesn't teach us how to use the computer or even give us grades to know how we are doing in his class. He guides us in a direction and sees where it takes us. Some will use their time to find out more about it and others will do enough to just get by.
In another post, "He Just Likes the Class for the Pencils", John Spencer uses the word "pencils" as a metaphor for the subject he teaches. I believe it is a computer class or he uses computers in his class. Other teachers are telling a students' parent about his bad behavior. Mr. Spencer says he does not have any problems with the students. The other teachers proceed by saying the reason he does not have any problems is because of his "pencils". Mr. Spencer says, "...it is about trust and purpose...I take time to listen." What the other teachers were not realizing is it was not the class it was the teacher that made the child want to do well in that class.
Here is a link to John Spencer's blog.