The Consolation of Teaching

There is one thing, though, which never fails to bring real consolation to me in moments of stress, doubt, or wondering “what is it all for?” The obvious answer, for many teachers, is, of course, their students and the relationships they build with them over the years. This is true of myself as well, but recently my thoughts have dwelt on the everyday interactions, the words my students say, the things they notice, and the things they speak surreptitiously to each other in the back of class when they think, foolishly, that I cannot hear them.

“I don’t remember any of it.”

The goal of students’ education is not perfection, nor is it merely practical skills and good grades. The goal is not even getting an amazing job or getting into the right college. The goal is for students to appreciate what is true, good, and beautiful in the subjects they learn, so they can see what is true, good, and beautiful in their lives.

A Culture of Trust & Accountability

Envision classroom discussions beaming with student involvement, where curious minds are posing thoughtful questions and attentive peers respond with their own hypotheses, solutions, ideas, and extension questions. How do you build a classroom culture that facilitates this level of engagement and willingness to inquire authentically and share ideas courageously?