“We see what we are prepared to see.”
Being that it is Sunday, I feel that I can share these words spoken by my insightful and in my opinion, progressive, priest during this morning’s mass. While I don’t make it to church often, when I do, I find myself smiling throughout his sermons. Today’s was no exception.
He spoke of Mother Teresa who, along with her sisters, would prepare for their extraordinary work with the poor by mediating until noon. When people pointed out to Mother Teresa that she could accomplish more if they commenced their work earlier in the day, she explained that while that may be true, they would not be able to serve with the same intention. Meditating and spending their morning in prayer allowed them to serve with fuller hearts and with a focus on the good in the people.
This made me wonder: How can this lesson apply to our lives as teachers? If you move into anything in life expecting to find deficits, that is exactly what you will find. But, if you approach it with an open heart, imagine the strengths you will find. What if, when we sit down to look at student writing, we take a few breaths and prepare ourselves to see strengths? Will we be able to look past the spelling and punctuation errors? Will the “hidden gems”, as Katherine Bomer calls them, shine through? Will we see brilliance and potential over deficits?
Try it out and let us know!