“Watching a great teacher at work can feel like watching a magic show.”
– Dana Goldstein, journalist and author
This month we had our first ever visit from a magician (thanks, Tim!). He had the children enthralled as he made little balls appear and disappear, helped a little girl lay an egg and ate a knot off a rope. “This is magic!” said one child, “I love this!” said another. But isn’t it striking that the objects produced by the ‘magic’ are themselves fairly commonplace: a ball, an egg, a rope? What is magical is that they are produced without any discernible means.
Is that what people mean when they speak about education as being magical? The outcomes we try to produce are not fantastical in themselves: children who can read, write and do arithmetic; who have interacted with Christian role models and teaching; who can think critically and who like to help others; who are healthy and happy and safe. So perhaps when we speak about all the wonderful – even magical – things that good education can achieve, what we mean is that education can make these outcomes appear out of thin air.
Unlike a magician, we will let you in on the secret: the magic of education relies on a staggering amount of unseen, ongoing preparation. Curriculum must be compiled and lessons planned. Logistical, financial and legal administration must be done. A trusting relationship with every student and family must be established and fostered. A support network needs to grow around the school and a constructive culture must be developed within the school. Classrooms need to be built, furnished, cleaned, repaired. On such work the magic depends.
So please pray for the ongoing ‘magic show’ at TCC – that we will keep preparing the magic and the children will keep experiencing the results!