This is actually not a religious conversation, as I believe that religious practices have no place in secular schools. It could be a spiritual conversation, if by spiritual you mean having an unshakeable belief in the glory of human potential.
I do believe in the light—in the light that shines behind every child’s eyes, assuming that life and failure haven’t yet managed to extinguish it. And I believe in the light that shines from great teachers passionately sharing their curiosity and their wisdom. But the faith I want to talk about today is the faith that all children can learn.
Success for every student is a buzz word, but it’s probably also the reason most of us got into teaching in the first place. I mean, who wants to be a teacher to work really hard, get paid less than we deserve, and then walk around looking at children going: “That one can’t learn!”
But eventually many teachers lose faith in some of their students. You hear the comments that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, or that this child or the other is learning to the best of his or her ability (which really means they’re hardly learning at all).
So where does this loss of faith come from, given that few teachers have it when they walk into their first classroom on the first day of pre-service? Continue reading