“Intelligence, for one thing. It’s not so much that you become smarter, as that you feel as though you can really use your mind. You can see things that you couldn’t see before, understand things that others can’t.” (from Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson)
The semester is quickly winding down, which is usually a time when students begin to slack off, stop participating, begin mentally preparing for summer. But I have an extraordinary bunch of students who are charging toward the finish line and building speed as they go. Our class discussions in recent weeks have been excellent. My students have been reading texts with an impressive level of sophistication, and students who have been silent for most of the semester have been speaking up and contributing their ideas. Eager hands shoot into the air one after another, and the only drawback is that our class only meets for an hour and a half at a time and we have to cut the discussions off. This group has always been particularly good, but I can see development from the kinds of discussions we had at the beginning of the semester. They are really learning to use their minds and see things in new ways. And that, of course, is the purpose of education, and the best reason for reading. Reading just has a way of widening a person’s mind and changing the way he or she sees the world. And I’m delighted and blessed to be a part of that as a teacher!