Year-end reviews can be strange things. Depending on the specific point from which you decide to look back, or the particular path you decide to take on your wandering backward, you come up with a different sense of the year. Was it a good one, a bad one, or, as wisdom tends to suggest, a bit of both, like every year? What is it that makes us want to encapsulate experience within time frames and label it in one way or another? Where we begin and the turns we take along the way are important determinants of where we end up, obviously – in physical journeys as well as in mental ones! Something to think about as we take stock this year!
This issue of Teacher Plus offers a departure of sorts. Nestled within the teaching tips and educative ideas are four stories that look at life from different vantage points – a man who faces difficult choices, a woman who sees the world go by from a hospital bed, teachers trying to balance staff room power play, and a pair of young children who are beginning to understand the politics of disparity. We hope you will enjoy these stories and take a bit of time during your holidays to let your mind wander through the unexpected pathways created by fiction.
As teachers, it is particularly important that we keep alive our sense of empathy and our ability to get into the skin of another – we do this by listening to people and by keeping our minds open to the possibilities of difference in every way. Stories allow us to experience, second-hand, things we would never encounter in our own limited spheres. And by doing so, they allow us to understand others – and the world – a little bit more, a little bit better, and a little bit differently.