We easily underestimate the destructive power of boredom, perhaps nowhere more than in education, where some miserable, disappointed scholar decided that boredom, as opposed to painstaking labor, was the price of learning.
The stereotype of the conventional teacher, hiding behind her “practical” needs – by which she means today’s immediate stresses, jobs, standardized tests, etc. – is the great enemy of education because she looks away from the idea that burns in a text or the song that sings in an equation. She looks out and away from the idea that makes learning joyful, that makes learning learning, and thus she makes it boring.
She sins against man and the Divine Image. She stumbles the little children.
In the all too common worst case, she is self-absorbed and cannot see the hunger of the child’s soul. She is the enemy of mankind, a Philistine, a hater of the true, the good, and the beautiful – and all because she is frightened.
But then she shouldn’t teach. Her sentimentality – self-justification that it is – only makes her more self-centered, obtuse, closed to the student’s soul, boring.
All you have to do is open your eyes to perceive what is already there and you will give life to your own soul and to your students. If you are bored, anxious, and afraid, either find a cure or stop teaching.
You want to teach?
Tremble. Just a little bit.
God have mercy on me, the sinner.