Friday, June 22, 2012


This weekend, Delycia has planned some special surprises for me (she says she’s “kidnapping” me till Sunday), and it’s caused me to think about the significant role surprises play in my teaching. A surprise could be described as something unforeseen or astonishing, and surely such small or large wonders occur in my work almost moment by moment.  In fact, each second of class time is a surprise of a sort, coming upon my students and me in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. There’s no way to know what thoughts will arrive in our minds and when, and our feelings flow in and out of us in unsystematic ways, so surprise is literally what our lives consist of, English class included. Our minds make one startling thought this moment, the next moment a totally different one, and so on -- forever. Every second of class is a small outburst of newness, like stars at sundown starting to shine one by one.  It can’t be stopped, this constant release of wonders and amazements. Next year in Room 2 at my unassuming school on a woodland road, and this weekend with Delycia, surprises will be as present as heartbeats and breaths.

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