Monday, January 3, 2011


The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us. C.S. Lewis

This is one of my favorite quotes from Lewis, and one that I try to remember when the new year rolls around every January. Sometimes, in our frenzy to discard the old and put on the new, we also destroy the lessons we have learned and the foundation we really needed to grow. Teachers, in particular, need to be cautious that they don't foster this razing of values and concepts, but rather explain and add, allowing students to use what they know to evaluate the new material. That's not to say some things shouldn't be tossed away, but devastation seldom produces more arable soil. I've written it in another way:

You don't get anywhere if you keep starting over.