“The greatness of art is not to find what is common but what
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer (via Bob at email@example.com)
I think that applies to greatness of teaching as well. What makes “Josue” unique? That’s the question and, locked in that question, we find the key to helping Josue fulfill his own personal quest. The best teachers cultivate those sparks of uniqueness, those flares of divergence.
The divergent are often a handful in the classroom, but I have fewer — if any — real disciplinary issues with this group when I go with the grain. If “Manny” can’t follow, I try to let him lead. If Josue wants to take science toward skateboarding, I try to find the applicable science that relates to the skateboard. Of course, some days you just have to force kids to go with your flow: Order of operations is neither malleable nor optional.
Eduhonesty: For new teachers, I offer this advice: Try to enjoy them for who they are. Love them if you can. Support them as much as you are able. And go with the grain of the wood as often as possible.