Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Sometimes, when my teaching seems lost among thousands of trivialities, I’m fortunate enough to find, again, a few great facts, and one of these is that I never have to help my students think deep thoughts, because they already are. When they enter my classroom, they are carrying on, at that moment, the noble labor of thinking about life. Their thoughts may be of sleepovers and lost chances and shirts to wear on the weekend, but those are the indisputable delights at the center of their lives. Little, lighthearted things like what someone said on Saturday can signify the meaning of all of their lives. They always think deep thoughts because their lives look deeper to them than oceans. My task, then, as one of their teachers is not to "turn on" their thoughts, but to simply find the force and magnificence in the thoughts they are already thinking. Perhaps listening would be a good lesson for me – just listening to hear in their earnest words the thoughts that move their minds and hearts in endless ways. They are boys and girls who have been given the gift of unblemished and bottomless thinking, and I can learn a lot about teaching by simply appreciating their rather extraordinary everyday thoughts.

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