Sunday, March 21, 2010


         Today I misinterpreted something I saw, a mistake that happens to me way too often in my classroom. I was driving on the highway in the bright sunshine, when I saw, far ahead, what looked like cars coming straight for me. For a few seconds I was concerned, but I quickly saw that the sun was simply glancing off the backs of cars, making the light look like headlights heading my way. In reality, the stream of cars was proceeding precisely as it should. I wondered, as I continued driving, how often I have totally misconstrued events in the classroom. When I thought a boy seemed bored with the book we were discussing, was interest and enthusiasm, in fact, slowly spreading inside him? When I thought I had been a fairly effective teacher in a class, were the kids, in fact, riding miles away on daydreams?  As I’ve known in my heart for years, and re-learned today, I very often have no accurate idea what’s happening right in front of my eyes. It’s another cause for humility. All I can do is look again, and then again, and hope the truth will somehow slip past my hasty and flawed judgments.

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