“We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” ~C.S.Lewis
“The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As a teacher and a parent, I think that Rene Magritte’s ‘Clairvoyance’ has to be my favorite painting. Clairvoyance is the ability to predict the future, or to know about things that you did not actually see happen. Teachers and parents need to see the potential in their students or children. We need to see past what they are to what they may be. This painting is a reminder of that for me, just like Goethe’s quote above. If you treat kids as their behavior deserves, they’ll remain selfish, lazy, immature, ignorant and apathetic. We HAVE to see the best in everyone and work hard to bring it out and nurture it.
Goethe’s quote and Magritte’s painting, “Clairvoiance,” are really good reminders for teachers. In 1967 the New York Times reported on an experiment by Harvard professor Robert Rosenthal in which teachers were told before the year began that their (average) students were highly intelligent. Because of the teacher’s positive perceptions and higher expectations, their students performed better than they had in previous years and than other classes.
It’s not always easy to look past someone’s current appearance and behavior or their past, but a teacher’s job is to look for the best in every student. Like the artist in Magritte’s painting, we should see everyone for their potential. Frankly, if we all treated everyone this way, the world may just be a better place if we tried to see what people could be instead of seeing adversaries & obstacles.
How can we see our students for what they could be, not just for what they are or used to be? How can we see the wings inside the egg?
What would happen if you could see who your students could become, best case scenario? What if you kept that image in mind all school year? Even through their mistakes, failures, & challenging behaviors? Even on their bad days? What can you do to help yourself see them that way? How can you remind yourself to keep seeing them that way?
Pray for help to see the best in others. I’m not always the best at this, but I genuinely believe that it’s important to try.