“It was literally a new light for them to see him in.”
--George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
I was struck by the above sentence this morning, because it reminded me of the kind of teacher I hope to one day become. I hope I can grow to consistently see the new lights that shine on (and in) my students each day – lights that enable me to be grateful for them in new ways. The lackluster overhead lights in my classroom shed the same featureless light down on all of us, so it’s important that I notice the other kinds of “lights” that illuminate my students. It’s important that I see each of them as surrounded by their own distinctive light, one that shifts and varies and shines in new ways moment by moment. And of course, the special light of their individual lives is always there, always glowing. Each of my students is an assemblage of gifts and powers beyond belief – a work of untainted wonder that can’t be replicated. They each think thoughts and feel feelings whose lights could light up many classrooms. They are youthful dynamos of undreamed of mental and emotional power, able to transform lives (their own and others’) with their own minds and hearts. Alas, I’m often unable to see or appreciate these powers – these lights that shine around and inside my students. I’m like a blind man who doesn’t know there’s a stunning sunset in front of him. At any given time, there are many young lights flaring and flashing in my classroom, but it takes wide-open eyes to see them.