It might seem strange to think of hopelessness as a desirable quality in a classroom, but in one sense, a lack of hope plays an important part in my teaching. Being full of hope implies that there’s something missing in the present moment, something that can be supplied in some future moment, but my aim is always to help the students feel fulfilled and find contentment in whatever we happen to be doing at any particular moment. Since there’s already enough wishing for and anticipating and looking forward to and waiting for in their young lives, in my classroom I ask them to try to take pleasure in just what’s happening right now. Be hope-less, I sometimes want to say: be satisfied with the pleasures of studying this stanza, or answering this quiz question, or listening to the surprising words of the classmate who is speaking, or just following your own unforeseen thoughts as they continuously soar across your mind.
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