I have a lamp in my living room that always inspires me with thoughts about ways to improve my teaching. I love the fact that the lamp doesn’t do much of anything. If it was a person, it wouldn’t have a to-do list, wouldn’t be worried about bringing ten tasks to completion, wouldn’t do anything except be what it is – a softly shining rosiness that gives the living room a look of welcome and restfulness. When I enter the room, the light of the lamp always seems like a gentle invitation to think and feel freely and be at peace. I don’t have an actual lamp in my classroom, but perhaps I can be a lamp of sorts for my often struggling and hassled students. Perhaps, instead of a non-stop maker and doer of lesson plans, assignments, goals, and objectives, I can simply be a warm-hearted and earnest believer in their talents. Perhaps, like my lamp, I can let a spirit of openness and receptivity shine out into the room in an unobtrusive way, just enough so the students feel at ease and settled and ready to realize just how talented they really are.
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