Posted tagged ‘seeing’

Having a Teacher’s Third Eye

December 7, 2019

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                     December 7, 2019

               

In many ways I’m clueless.

Don’t ask me about who is singing what song. I can recognize Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas”, but I’m a loser in identifying Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Same goes for the whole gaming area. If you ask me about “Fortnite”, I’ll look as lost as a child in the Chicago Futures Exchange.

But one thing I’m pretty good at is figuring out who to keep an eye on in any middle school classroom. My third eye, that is! I don’t have to actually keep my first two eyes on the student, it’s the invisible eye that knows and sees. 

Most of us who have been around the block a few times can still remember teachers we had in school who we couldn’t fool, and others who seemed to be oblivious. One of my high school teachers was so clueless that when he’d leave the classroom for a moment, students would climb out the first floor window and leave, while other students would climb into the classroom. 

Having that third eye is essential for classroom survival and control. Recently I was sitting in on a class who’s teacher I would be subbing for a few days later. The teacher told me that the class was made up of great kids, but there was one student who I’d have to keep an eye on. She said to me, “See if you can figure out who it is.” Even before the class had officially started I knew who the suspect was. She looked at me and I motioned with a slight nod of my head in the direction of the young man. She smiled and nodded back to indicate the accuracy of my choice.

Yesterday I had two classes of sixth graders in the afternoon. Same thing, my third eye knew who I had to be aware of. 

On the other end of the spectrum, a teacher can usually figure out who the students are who will help him steer the class in the right direction. It’s almost like having teammates who are on the mission with you. Whereas some kids will lead the herd to the edge of the cliff, the students who you praise God for will help the teacher in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

There are the kids who seem to think the world revolves around them and there are the students who have a desire to help make the world right. 

Oh, there’s been a few times where someone has gone undiscovered in their antics…like the boy a couple of years ago who was handing out Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that he had also doused with a hot sauce called “The Devil’s Blood”. I didn’t catch on for a few minutes. When  the fifth student came to me and asked if he could get a drink of water, as tears ran down his cheeks, I finally figured out something was up. 

Most of the time, however, I’m like a wise ole’ cat fully aware of the mouse trying to get a nibble of the cheese nearby. In each of the sixth grade classes yesterday I knew who had the potential to some day be on the FBI Most Wanted list before I had even finished taking attendance…and they lived up to their potential!

Transformed Opinions

April 26, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                               April 26, 2013

 

Once in a great while I get out my high school yearbook from the early seventies. It is a mixture of comical relief and embarrassment…even more embarrassing if there is someone looking at it with me! Comments get made such as “You looked like…THAT?” and “You wore THOSE kind of glasses?” the comments are never made in flattering ways that result in me pumping up my chest, but rather they are asked with a chuckling undertone.

It is easy to see how I have changed from a distance of forty years. Different glass frames (Thank God!), puffier cheeks, thinner hair. Distance sometimes makes things frightfully clear.

The reverse of that is trying to discern changes on a day-to-day basis. Unless a person goes through a “make-over”, how different someone is on Monday compared to Sunday, or even the previous Monday, is hard to know.

There are similar criteria involved in discerning a person’s spiritual transformation. I have a hard time knowing how I have grown in my walk with the Lord from my perspective. It may not even be as clear as a slowly receding hairline or expanding waist.

What I need are others who are in the midst of faith journeys to tell me what they are sensing. Sometimes those external views involve hard things to hear, such as sensing I’m in the midst of a spiritual dryness, or the identifying of an evident fear to go to a deeper level of trust. And sometimes those observations are encouraging and energizing comments that leave me asking “Really? You see how I’ve grown?”

The past few years I’ve attended a basketball official’s camp at some time during the summer. We don’t stand around a campfire singing “Kum-Ba-Yah” at this camp, or dance around the dining hall chanting “We are the Order of the Forks!”. At this camp we officiate basketball games while being watched by clinicians. As we go about managing the game on the court the clinicians take note and then share their observations with us during time-outs, half-time, and at the end of the game. They note good things we did- good calls, good communication- and bad things we do- lame calls, slow rotations in covering the court. Often during the three days together the clinicians will keep telling someone about a tendency that is being observed that needs to be corrected, and the official is able to correct that flaw by the end of the camp.

One of the instructions at the beginning of camp is to not use two words.

Yes, but!”

“Yes, but” is resistance to the truth. It’s a bolted door closed to reality.

Likewise, spiritual transformation needs those external eyes, trusted others to guide us and instruct us.

When I want a humorous moment I open my yearbook. When I want the close truth of the present reality I go to those I know love me, want the best for me, and want me to be all that God intended for me to be.