I saw a surprising, split-second rainbow the other day, and I’ve already seen some similar wonders in my middle school English classes. This was an especially wondrous rainbow – a sudden and extensive band of colors above a small cloud in an otherwise blue sky. Usually rainbows, at least in my experience, appear after some rain, but this one was different and sort of shocking, so much so that I called a friend to share my surprise. Later, it made me think about the bright rainbows that have suddenly shown up in the midst of my few English classes so far – rainbows in the form of colorful feelings and thoughts shared by the students. We’ve gone through some minutes of fairly mundane remarks during our discussions, but then, always before very long, a student has said something that stuns all of us, sort of like my rather astonishing rainbow. For a moment or two, we’re silent with wonder at the student’s startling comment, but soon its glory goes away, like the transitory rainbow, and we’re left with the usual and simple successes of English class, sort of like the blue sky last week when the rainbow slowly but surely disappeared.