This morning I read this and was touched. And was reminded once again of why I work with teachers and students.
But I promise, underneath that bravado of the seventh grader or swagger of the tenth grader you will find that small first grader who wonders, “Will my teacher like me?” And when that child – that teen – knows that you believe he or she matters, then that student will do most anything for you.
(from Kylene Beers in an open letter to America’s teachers)
In a staff meeting last year one of the teachers I work with at an adult education centre said, ‘we are doing God’s work’. I like to relate that to hope, in the way that Havel describes it, as “…the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for .success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.”
(Vaclav Havel in The Politics of Hope, from Disturbing the Peace, link to pdf of the chapter)
For me , the promise of teaching lies in not only the willingness but the profound opportunity to work for something because it is good.