In a way, my task as a teacher is fairly easy: I simply have to help my students – and me – open our eyes. I actually don’t have to teach, instruct, guide, or enlighten – just join with the students in the marvelous enterprise of raising some eyelids so the miracles all around us might be seen. The strange truth is that my students and I – and most of all of us, I would guess – consistently miss seeing the wonders that are always working their magic in our presence. For some reason, our inner eyes are closed to the unobtrusive blessings that are bestowed on us with the consistency of sunshine on the best summer days. Every one of the thousand of seconds in a school day is an absolute stunner in its freshness and fertility, and yet I’m afraid the boys and girls and I give little attention to this unceasing, everyday splendor, tied up as we are in the workings of our personal hopes and fears. Every word in a poem is potentially a powerful force, as is every statement a student makes in a discussion, as is even every glance given across the room and all the ways the sunshine lights the windows – and all the students and I need to do is open our eyes and see it. My task, in a sense, is as easy as raising the shades of windows. Each moment in class, we are called by a world full of wonders, and I simply have to help us answer.
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