Friday, December 08, 2006
I’m often amazed at how unaware I am during many of my classes. I often pass through the entire 48 minutes of class on “autopilot”, just cruising along through the steps of my lesson plan with hardly a clear thought given to the astonishing nature of what’s happening. To use an analogy I’ve often employed, I’m like a person walking through a wonderland with a blindfold on. I get to the end of a class, take the blindfold off, and have no genuine idea what wonderful things have been occurring in the last hour. Of course, what happens each day in my room at school is no more wonderful than what happens each moment everywhere. To me, the universe is an infinite and eternal miracle, from the spinning stars right down to the mechanical pencil in my hand during class, and to the tiny ant crawling down the wall as my students and I work our way through the lesson. It’s all miraculous – the thousands of totally new thoughts we generate in each class, the feelings that sweep through us, the understandings that suddenly come to us like sunrises. It’s all an absolute marvel, and yet I am usually completely unaware of it as I’m teaching. I have my carefully made lesson plans in front of me, and, with blindfold on, I march through them from beginning to end, quite oblivious to the wonders around me. I pat myself on the back, get the next lesson plan out, adjust the blindfold, and wait for the next class to arrive.