Marva Collins is famous for applying classical education successfully with impoverished students, many of whom had been wrongly labeled as learning disabled by public schools. She once wrote, “I have discovered few learning disabled students in my three decades of teaching. I have, however, discovered many, many victims of teaching inabilities.”

from Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers by Marva Collins


A student is like a tree.

Teachers who spend more time talking about what children should know and what they cannot do are delaying the time when that child’s leaves can once again come into fruition.

Surely the harsh winter of some teachers may be the culprit, but pointing fingers won’t help the child who sits before you. This child will constantly be at risk in society until somewhere someone sees him or her as a blank sheet of paper on which the good teacher will do the writing.

The good teacher gives children the opportunity to have their past failures burned. They are given a new lease on life …a new opportunity to have the past die, never to be born-again.

Caring cannot be forced; it must come of its own accord. When a teacher cares enough to keep polishing, the shiny luster that all children have comes shining through.

Think for a moment about going into an antique shop where one views old silver. One person sees blackened metal and calls it worthless. Another viewer sees the blackened silver and realizes what it can become. With polishing, the true, fine luster comes shining through. The same silver existed all the time. The only difference is how the viewer saw its value and potential.

So it is with children. Without vision of what a child can become, his potential perishes.

The good teacher removes the layers of dead leaves left from a harsh winter of uncaring and gives the child the sweet breath of spring. . .a new life. Spring itself means new beginnings. . .new life.