Subtitle: I get to hear truth, every day.
We're reading a science fiction-distopian/utopian novel in class. We were discussing how sheltered the general population is in the novel, how protected they are from all pain. We talked about how sometimes much good comes from pain and suffering. I asked students what ideas they had on that.
One of my students raised her hand. She seemed hesitant and nervous to speak. I watched a bright blush bloom on her face, and I saw her hesitant but resolved, the most sure sign of courage I know. She said, " I know what happened to Mr. Cribby was horrible, but other people are now getting help because ...because now we have the Happy Smackah."
As the dual-teacher/person/role-model in the room, as the me, I thanked her for that gift of perspective. I nodded, letting her and all the students know, that I agreed that there was so much beauty that came from such tragedy. One of the things I hold most dear and sacred as a teacher is my role as a role model. I make mistakes second by second and yard by yard. But where I work the hardest is showing myself as strong, soft, resilient, cooperative, kind, good, understanding, fair, consistent and approachable.
In that moment, and I've had many over the years, but yes, more since Dan's illness, I take pride in being all of those things. I feel this opportunity to be a role model for how to love life and remain positive and happy.
I spoke to that class on a deeply personal level. I shared perspective on the idea of the value of pain and suffering. I let them see that when I was vulnerable, I was strong.
I'm not sure how to frame all of my experiences. I do know for sure that I am so lucky to be a teacher. In the broadest sense, it is daily rewarding to know so many great minds and to learn. In the deepest sense, it is being moved by a 12 year-old's heart and mind.
Goals: I get to do this for many, many, many years: teach, learn, write
Gratitude: my students who share their remarkable spirits with me. Our community that creates and embraces the Happy Smackah.