Thinking Differently

One of the hardest things as a teacher, I’m finding, is not being able to say what I really want to say. Even when it’s good.

This year I have a couple of students who have simply blown me away. It’s very hard to describe, but I can sense that they see the world in a new way, and that they think differently. These students are interested not just in the material, but how it relates to the world, and they’re not scared to ask the far-left questions about why things are the way that they are. These students could be the future stars of Apple’s Think Different commercial.

But the saddest part is that I can feel them slowly getting indoctrinated into high school–even now, after Christmas Break, the amount of unique thoughts I’m getting from them is waning, almost as if they’re getting used to a set way of thinking, and I want to avoid that. I want to encourage them to keep thinking the way that they naturally do, because the world needs more of them.

Yet… how can I say this? Without sounding like I’m favoring them? While still managing to be politically correct? Without making the rest of the class feel totally left out? It’s hard to have all of these positive things I want to share with them and inspire them with, but then to not know how to convey them properly.