I had a new windshield installed in my van yesterday to replace the one that suddenly cracked almost all the way across on my way home last Friday. The new windshield is remarkable for both its clarity and lack of pits, scratches and cracks accumulated during the 219,000 miles it has travelled.
Sometimes, the experiences we have in life cause us to see things with a similar new clarity. In fact, I sometimes think that one of life's main goals should be to obtain a certain clarity of vision. I remember the year I spent working with teachers in an inner city school and how it added significantly to my clarity of vision of what math education should be all about; it had never occurred to me before that there was such global diversity in mathematics. My students also gain great clarity of vision when they first experience what it's like to teach.
Today, I read my first teacher licensure portfolio. The portfolio is an extensive piece of work students are required to complete as part of their teacher education program at St. Mike's leading to teacher licensure in the State of Vermont, and elsewhere. The portfolio, completed at the end of the student teaching semester, is assessed according to an extensive set of criteria which must be met by the student. In reality though, while I'm checking the boxes next to each criterion, I'm also trying to determine the student's clarity of vision concerning her/his teaching experience at this point in their teaching career.