Monday, May 21, 2007

Just as one ray of sunlight can’t be said to be any brighter than another ray, I don’t see how a teacher can be said to be any more important than his students. The only real power in a classroom is the power of intelligence, and students and teacher share uniformly in that power. To set the teacher apart as “owning” a greater part of that intelligence is like saying, “Oh, do you see that single ray of light over there? It has more brightness than any other ray.” That would be a ridiculous statement, and saying that the teacher is the central, or key, or most essential element in the classroom is, to me, just as ridiculous. In my classroom, there are, at any given time, twelve students and one teacher – thirteen bright rays of sunshine. We each have only one task – to shine with our own natural brilliance. Indeed, it’s actually not a task, because that word implies effort or work, and rays of sunshine don’t have to make an effort to be bright. They are bright, by their own nature, and so are my students and I. Perhaps, in fact, what we all need to do is quit trying so hard to be smart, quick, scholarly, and clever. As a teacher, I, especially, need to give up the great effort to be the intellectual leader in the classroom. I’m simply a ray of light among other rays, and I need to calm down, lighten up, and enjoy that wonderful role.

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