Thursday, March 25, 2010


         I sometimes wish I had a pair of special goggles that I could wear during those occasional times when I’m a thoroughly unperceptive teacher. With the magic goggles, I could perhaps see what’s been directly in front of my eyes, but which I’ve missed because of a strange kind of sporadic loss of discernment. During those myopic periods of teaching, what I see in front of me in the classroom seems to be nothing more than a group of mildly interesting but essentially similar teenagers, kids who do my assignments with some degree of success and are somewhat obedient and dutiful. If you notice a lack of excitement in that description, it’s due to my periodic partial blindness: I simply don’t see the major miracles that are my students. I might even offhandedly say, “Hey, they’re just a bunch of typical kids,” which is exactly why I could use the magic goggles – so I could see that “typical” is the opposite of what they are. If I put on the goggles, perhaps I would see the incomparable creations of the universe sitting before me. Maybe I would notice their uniqueness, their gifts and flairs, their untried and unpolished magnificence. Of course, if I were a truly wise man, I wouldn’t need miraculous goggles, for I would know that no group of people is only “mildly interesting” or “essentially similar”, least of all a group of freshly blossoming adolescents.  I would feel fortunate, indeed privileged, to be in the same classroom with my students, lucky to be considered worthy of being one of their teachers, blessed to be lending a hand in bringing these up-and-coming citizens to the doors of their future. 

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