It’s funny, but finding my way in any given class is often as frustrating as finding my way blindfolded through the paths of a maze. As diligently as I plan my lessons, I sometimes feel lost and out of touch with both my lesson and my students, as though I’m in a wide desert land with only distant signals to show that other people are here with me. There are moments (not many, thankfully) when, as I walk among the students, things seem so astonishing, so bizarre and full of surprises, that I wonder where I am and why. It’s like I just awoke and here I am in a classroom full of kids. Strangely, this is not a depressing feeling for me, for I’m realizing more and more that I actually look forward to these moments, these split seconds when the unreserved mystery of teaching overwhelms me. More often than not, I pretty much prance through my lessons with ease and almost casualness, as though I know precisely what I’m doing and where I’m going, but every so often the haze of mystery descends on me, and the inscrutability of teaching another human being becomes overpoweringly real. At those times I hope the students don’t see me as dazed and stupefied, though that may be a suitable description of this old but youthful-feeling teacher who often feels befuddled by the strange obscurities of teaching teenagers.
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