4/15/2020 0 Comments
Teaching is an intensely vulnerable act of service. It requires us to stand in front of little, honest eyes who judge and watch our every move. We are role models and expected masters of curriculum. We are asked to take our children from every walk of life and with a myriad skills, weaknesses and personalities- and move them along a proposed curriculum that may have little to nothing to do with our student's preferences or interests. We are measured by a series of tests that we are not privy to in advance or even in the moment of administration- and the ants keep marching. We wake up with more questions than answers and often the impending sense of doom that the task is impossible.
Yet, have you considered the point of view of the child in front of you? Each walking blindly into the day- unaware of what will happen, unable to control when he or she is allowed to speak, sit, stand, pee. We ask them to do tasks that demand tremendous courage- from sharing their thoughts on a subject that maybe entirely new to them- to failing publicly on a project. We tell them to dance with their failings and that these are the richest moments of learning- meanwhile, we fear our meetings with our own supervisors and the idea that maybe we are a fraud- because we don't have all of the answers.
Our children are asked to write from their hearts- let the world into the private spaces of their minds. They are asked to read aloud and listen to their voices waiver as they stumble around the boulders of vocabulary that inevitably arise. Some of our students are speaking and reading in a language that they didn't learn at birth and to them, the boulders are mountains. Imagine being asked, on the spot to do the same with your colleagues. It's not easy.
When we step back and consider the bravery of our little ones- the ones with forming, stretching spines and strong, thumping, yet vulnerable hearts- we need to first meet them on the path and recognize that this is HARD work. Talk to your students. Tell them that you remember what it felt like. Recognize the importance of RESPECT.
I created the image above because I believe bravery comes when someone first whispers in your ear, "I've been where you are. I feel you. You will be better because of this" and- when the teacher sets the tone of respect for others
Go teach from your heart today.