Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Up on the Roof", pastel, by Johanna Bohoy
It’s astounding to me to remember, now and then, that an infinite number of possibilities await my students and me each day. I sometimes forget that the universe is vast beyond measurement, and that the students and I are part of that vastness – part of the 15-billion-year-old extravaganza that’s constantly constructing, transforming, and expanding itself. There are as many possibilities awaiting us as there are stars spread out in the cosmos, and they arrive at our lives with the randomness of shafts of starlight. Before school, I sometimes sit in my classroom and see, in my mind, my students and I as on the edge of a minuscule speck surrounded by immeasurable swirls of stars and planets. How, I then wonder, can I think so highly of my position as the planner and producer of learning for my students, when I see the astonishing vastness of our situation -- a few willing learners looking out at the endless lights of knowledge that spin around us? I plan my lesson carefully, but who really knows what will happen today, or this hour, or this moment? Out of the limitless number of possibilities, who knows which ones will shimmer like lamps for a few seconds in our classroom today? It’s impossible to say which rays of starlight will shine on our houses tonight, and it’s just as impossible to guess which flames of understanding will flare up in Room 2.

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