Monday, April 25, 2011


Sitting in my empty classroom this morning, I was reminded of the importance of keeping, at least occasionally, an empty mind. There’s something calm and peaceable about a classroom that’s silently waiting for its students, and there’s something equally to my liking in a mind that makes waiting for ideas to arrive a pleasant pastime. Classrooms can be frenzied places just before class as the teacher hurries around in a last-minute rush, and my mind can be similarly messy when I’m searching for suitable teaching techniques. Perhaps my mind needs to take a lesson from my classroom the way it was this morning just before the students arrived – a kind of expressionless and silent space, with me standing in stillness at my usual place. It was as if the room and I were simply waiting to see what ideas would show up during this class – what changes would be made in the lives of students and teacher because of the words spoken and read during class – and it would not be wrong to wonder if my mind could benefit from a similar kind of emotionless waiting. After all, countless billions of bright ideas are lingering around us at all times, just waiting for an open mind to ask them in – and perhaps it would help if the mind was reasonably empty and thus more keyed up for visitors.

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