Saturday, January 3, 2015

alums, and results

each life is an experiment

imagine the teacher as a scientist
and each student is an experiment—
the results of each experiment years away
from being published, let alone peer-reviewed,
and the results thus usually are unavailable to the teacher,
yet we must keep teaching, keep applying
the procedures we hope will work
to help each precious student
become the best possible 
as hoped for within each hypothesis,

I also know that education is not really the way to do science,
since hope and intuition and faith just can’t be quantified,
let alone the results that are more real
than what can be measured by standardized tests,

still, when I reconnect with alums,
in their eyes, in their words, in their very movements,
I see the proof of the worth of the experiment
I and others upon others helped conduct years before,
there is virtuosity in their dance, 
their song, their play, their work, their sense of self,

the rightness and joy that infuse them
make the scientist in me increasingly sure
of the success of experiment after experiment
that each of our students ventures
with the substance of the life each lives,

unlike science when a positive hypothesis is not borne out,
in education, the results feel tragic, not revelatory.

by Henry H. Walker
December 30, ’14

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