About botman's comment on the conformity of standards in education:

Standards are currently mandated in many states. The trick is to teach them yet use all the creativity you can muster to make your teaching dazzle. The best teachers are often dramatic and often extraordinary in the questions they pose and their ability to inspire students to pose equally interesting questions.

One of the best I ever had was one who admitted his errors in judgment, and showed us how a miscalcution had led to revelelations.

When the spirit is full of life, intelligence, creativity, and broad comprehension of how various mental inclincations express (and can be impressed by) subject matter and questions, there walks a strong teacher. But, better than that, is the scaffolding of exchange of ideas in an active classroom. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is extremely disenheartening to meet discouraged students, but it's far from being a hopeless situation--just a challenging one.

Best regards,
WW, a kid lover