Sunday, April 22, 2007

As I was scanning the internet the other day, I came upon a page devoted to “The Magic Eye”, and before long I was thinking about how it applied to teaching. “The Magic Eye” requires you to stare carefully at a picture, after which you can magically see a previously hidden, three-dimensional image inside the picture. Where there was formerly just a jumble of colors and shapes, a clear portrayal now appears. It’s almost as if the shapes and colors are transformed into something totally new right before your eyes. I wondered: Couldn’t something like this happen in my classroom? To be honest, what I often see before me as I’m teaching is a jumble of colors and shapes – a collection of shirts and pants and faces that sometimes doesn’t seem all that special. In the daily routine of teaching, I often fall into the habit of seeing just a blurry image of my students – the same fuzzy picture day after day. What would happen, though, if I stared at my students like I do at the “Magic Eye” pictures? What if I really focused on my students with all my powers of concentration, as “up close” as I could get? If I did that, would I gradually see the class transformed into something I had never seen before – into an image that was astonishingly new? Would something beautiful and thrilling emerge out of the hodgepodge of youthful faces in front of me?

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