What do I see when I look around the classroom? Do I see objects? Do I sense trouble?
Or do I see students whose lives are as deep and rich as mine? Whose passions and personal context can speak into my own life? Will I push them up to greater heights or will I pull them down with pointlessness?
These are the core questions we face in Principle #3 – I See Greatness.
This principle challenges us to see our students not merely as that, students…but as fellow human beings. Fellow human beings who have as much to teach us as we have to teach them.
When I look around the room I hope to see not merely students, but mentors. I’m not afraid to say how often a new insight I have gained from working with these young mentors. Whether that was in the shop or learning about genetics anew. At times we expect too little of our students today. Lest we forget many of the life-changing figures in the past and our present who started their impactful journey before they would have even graduated high school.
And don’t dare try to tell me that it is simply that society has changed…that is a cop out. Others will rise to the occasion and the expectations we design. (The caveat being that we have a relationship in place with them to do so!)
We have the power daily to decide if we will see and seek GREATNESS in those we are to teach and learn from. In the same hand we are the only ones with the power to take that decision away for ourselves. I will close this post with a quote from The Choice: In Teaching and Education–
“My focus should be on the greatness of others, and in my role as teacher, on the greatness of those I would teach.
This is the way I myself approach greatness — not by seeking for it myself, but by learning to see and appreciate it around me.” (p. 54)
Agimus tibi Dominus