Let me tell you a little story that captures a large truth about education. It recounts a brief experience that happened to me, the headmaster of a boys’ boarding school. Like most things that happen to me at school, this happened in my office—or at least, I heard it in my office—and it was one of those moments of sudden clarity that make the often-exhausting work of education, especially on an administrative level, a renewed joy.
As you may imagine, the headmaster’s office at a boys’ school is not a place that typically rings with levity. The four walls of my

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