Hope in Teaching and Teaching in Hope

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As long as there are teachers and students, there will be natural hope: teachers’ hope in students and teachers’ hope in themselves to meet the challenges of their work. Teachers experience hope as the pleasure of optimism, the determined defiance of adversity, comfort in loss, and persistence in hardship. Hope can grow and diminish, and many seasoned teachers have felt from time to time that sustaining hope is simply too difficult and have chosen a lesser yet easier path, at least for a while. I have met teachers who walk The Fool’s Way, The Way of the Disillusioned Sensible Man, The Humanitarian Way, and The Christian Way. Lewis’s message of hope can have a profound impact on the self and the meaning that Christian teachers bring to their work: “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in: aim at earth and you will get neither” (p. 134).


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[1] Perhaps this little essay on hope is autobiographically connected to Lewis’s search for Joy as described in Surprised by Joy.

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