Chapter 23 » 23.75

The individual and the community


To confirm the deepest thing in our students is the educator’s special privilege. It demands that we see in the failures of adolescence and its many confusions, the possibility of something untangled, clear, directed. It asks us to sustain that faith through a multiplicity of discouraging experiences and indeed to find within those experiences the grounds for hope. It requires us to love freely, readily, unconditionally but truly – without relaxing our standards or compromising ourselves – because to do that would be to disappoint and disillusion – a sure means of stunting the student’s growth. Above all, we must water the ground of the student’s being with faith in that deepest self – to do so constantly, tirelessly, patiently – and to love enough to know what one should demand from the student in response and how and when to ask it.

Barbara Windle, 1988

← 23.74 23.76 →