The first day of school beckons an intriguing metaphor, one that will pique the curiosity, create enthusiasm for learning, and open doors to discovering a new way of being in the classroom. A Venetian mask rests in a wrapped box, waiting to be revealed as a gift to begin the New Year. When opened, the students pass it around the circle admiring its beauty and mystique. Then I pose the question, “How will the mask help us in our learning this year?” Many students stare at me and at the mask, bewildered by the question. I assure them there is no wrong answer. They move to their desks to respond in writing.
As we gather to share, one by one they offer their responses, but not everyone chooses to read his thoughts aloud. As I read the responses of those who remained silent, one leaves me speechless. Thanks to you, Jasmine, we now have a profound metaphor to guide us through the year.