In A.A. groups, members speak of “higher powers” – forces that are somehow larger than our own lives and that can care for us in ways beyond our limited abilities -- and I sometimes sense a similar power at work in my classroom. There’s only so much I can make happen in my teaching -- I with my relatively limited years of study and practice, and with a mind that often makes more confusion for myself than clearness. I stumble in my teaching at least as often as I triumph, and my many mistakes each day definitely don’t make me feel like an all-triumphant teacher. I take help wherever I can find it, and I often find it in a place that I can’t exactly put my finger on. Perhaps it’s the same interior place where people get comfort when life crashes in front of them, or where wisdom arises when we need it most. Maybe it’s the place where ideas first develop, especially the ideas that hold us up and help us see the light in times of enduring darkness. When I’m wandering around in a lesson, looking for ways to work at least some small magic on my students, I sometimes slow down, stop, and simply listen to my thoughts – and usually some of them start seeming stronger than anything I could make by myself. Some of them, it seems, were sent from somewhere I’ve never seen – from a power that sometimes finds me in the classroom when I can scarcely find myself.
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