“…a pretty articulateness of speech that seemed to make daylight in her hearer’s understanding.”
-- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
As a teacher, I hope I can occasionally do what Eliot’s Mrs. Meyrick could do. I picture her children and friends listening to her words, when suddenly something like a sun rises inside their minds and previously concealed truths become clear. Darkness and disorder becomes brightness and clearness when they listen to her. Her words seem to carry lights inside them that switch on when someone listens. This would be a first-rate trick for a teacher to perform, and perhaps it happens more often than I realize. Perhaps a few small sunrises happen in some of my classes, thanks to something I say. It could be that, as the students listen to me, thoughts occasionally spring up in their minds like faint stars. Maybe, every now and then, I’m able to dispel a bit of my students’ mental darkness just by speaking sincerely and straightforwardly, sharing my thoughts about a sonnet or a story. Of course, it’s no doubt true that some of my students spend much of their time in English class sojourning in daydream land, but perhaps a few others are thrown under a clear inner light by a classmate’s comment or a passing observation from Mr. Salsich. I’m sure on many occasions there’s ample darkness and fog in the minds of my students during class, but hopefully there are also some occasional rays of sunshine inside their minds. Hopefully, now and then, something old Mr. Salsich says makes a bright day in the inner life of a confused kid or two.