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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

There is something about their eyes...

I know this is going to be an odd entry, but I want to record it, maybe to free others to say some "unsayable" things about teaching.

Last week we had our annual department banquet where it is a tradition for students and faculty to perform skits. These are usually hilarious caricatures of our "selves." The students see so much more than we imagine. One has to laugh.

I am rarely confident that I have given or have anything to give to the students in my "teaching."  At this banquet, I was visiting with a group of about 8 of them and one volunteered that the class I wrote about in the blogs below was the best class they've ever taken.  I have to be fair...he may have been ever so slightly  intoxicated....I'm not entirely sure it is true in any way for them, but I'm reporting what happened. The others immediately joined in with enthusiastic agreement. In thanking them, I caught the eyes of one young lady who had GREAT difficulty in the class because of the dynamic of her group. I spoke with her group with honest ( but kind ) assessments of how I felt they were capable of more. I thought for sure she would report that it was the worst class experience of her life. She occurs to me as "hard bitten." But in her eyes was a humble sincerity that reminded me of the privilege of "teaching."

I am finding that in teaching in this new way,  I am seeing something in their eyes.  Perhaps I am seeing them and before I was too distracted by my self.  The meeting of that something in their eyes occurs to me as mystical and "otherworldly." I feel very humbled by this experience, because I can feel the place of honor in their lives.

I hope I can carry it responsibly.

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