professornana (professornana) wrote,

The joy in discovery

My BH took off on his motorcycle one day this week (while I was finishing up my grading). He came home, grabbed a bite, and then told me that during his ride he had spied two classic Stutz Bearcat cars down in our little town of Montgomery (Texas) and wanted to go get a closer look. He came back a couple of hours later with a camera loaded with photos of classically beautiful old cars including one owned originally by Marlene Dietrich. Apparently a car collector (former race car drive Al Unser) had opened a garage in town and was showing off his beauties, too. As the BH shared all this with me, he was practically glowing with the joy of his discovery. Eyes alight, he showed me the photos and talked about how he had been invited in and allowed to roam and photograph to his heart's content.

Being witness to this sheer joy, this rapt attention to details, this searching for more information reminded me again of WHY I TEACH. There is something about watching the light bulb go off, about watching faces light up, about seeing the enthusiasm spreading that makes teaching rewarding. Yes, there are the dark days (had one yesterday as a matter of fact) when you ask yourself why you so love banging your head on a desk. But then there are all those other days. days when a class or even just one student GETS IT. What I have discovered is that the same joy is evident whether students are young or more experienced.

This is one of the reasons why I fear for those whose classes are so scripted that there is not a time or a chance for the joy of discovery, where close reading crowds out finding that special book and becoming lost in it.

lost in book

During Teacher Appreciation Week, I HOPE (that VISION thing again) that you have the chance to see joy light up some eyes around you. I also HOPE you discover that same joy yourself. Find a book. Get lost in it. Let the real world slip away and be transported into the world of the book. Now, if you don't mind, I think I will do just that.
Tags: discovery, joy, wonder
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