What’s my lesson? (look right through me.)

hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson? look right through me, look right through me. Roland Orzabal/Tears for Fears, 1982

So my brother-in-law makes these videos of my niece and nephew, which I do appreciate since they live in Ohio of all places (that might have come out sounding wrong). The last one he sent had this beautiful piano music as its soundtrack – when I asked, he answered that it might be Michael Andrews, in an intro to a remake of Mad World by Tears for Fears.

So I youtubed it and, indeed, that’s it. Beautiful song.

I’ve listened to it a few times since I received the latest twins video last week, and only tonight did my mind make its way around these lines – hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson? look right through me, look right through me.

In my last post we reflected on the human qualities teachers – we – bring to our classrooms. One of the strongest just might be the ability to both do and not do what this line is asking.

G-d forbid, as teachers, we look through our students. Imagine being invisible? I’ve known how that feels. Like I don’t exist. That’s the part not to do.

image found here, on the pbase gallery of backtothestart.

At the same time, when a student arrives in my classroom she is implicitly asking for her lesson.

She is asking me for her lesson.

And if I look right through her, past her language, her colour, her attitude wrought from years of learned helplessness and strong wall making and straight to her, I just may be able to find the lesson she’s asking for.

Maybe.

image found here, by accident, at a Physics blog by teacher Dean Baird. I’ve bookmarked it.

That’s the part to do. That maybe I wrote about? That is where my heart leads me.