Where there is no vision, the people cast of restraint...
-Proverbs 29:18I heard this simple proverb in church yesterday. It got itself lodged in my mind like a Milk Dud in a back molar. I've been thinking about these words and how we need them at school too. I realize that this is not an exact application of this verse, but the idea is sound.
"Where there is no vision"
Gag. Vision is such an overused, butthead word in much of today's parlance. Yet it still remains a true need. Who has the vision in your classroom? Who is responsible for spreading it?
This responsibility falls square on the shoulders of teachers. Students need to see the big picture of how school is helping their lives. They need to be reminded that the little day-to-day things in the classroom are playing a larger role. Students need to see themselves in a future tense end product, as well as a present tense work in progress.
I'm not sure if I have been effectively communicating a clear vision to my classes lately. I'm loathe to tell them, "You'll need this for 5th grade." I do say things like "This will help you be a better reader or writer." But some kids need much more detail than that.
"the people cast off restraint"
The people are our students. One possible reason for apathy or misbehavior could be a lack of vision. Many students are not going to get a vision on their own. They need you to show them how their work plays in to a larger project or adds to a growing skill set they will need for life.
The next time a student is off task, I need to ask myself a question. Does this kid have a vision for how this is going to help him? Maybe he does. Or, maybe he just feels like ripping up the carpet.
How is what we are teaching our students fitting into their lives now and in the future? There could be some scary answers to that question.