Friday, February 13, 2009


If my mind could look like a photo, it would look like the one above. I'm all in a muddle (or puddle) of thoughts. This was taken from inside the van while I sandwiched in about 5 minutes of knitting before heading into an elementary school to help with a Valentine's Day party. It has been raining since I had to load and unload groceries from the store today. I love rain. Really, I do.

But, I'm out of sorts today with too many questions and not enough answers. And so, everything seems gray and puddly.

My main question of the day is this: why do people who do not love children choose jobs that require them to work with children?

Earlier in the week, I was standing in a hallway talking to another teacher when I suddenly felt someone else's cheek up against mine. Turning to look, I was thrilled to to see a fifth grade boy who had been a student of mine at another school. Today, I saw him twice in the hallway-- always sporting a humongous smile. Seeing him made me so happy-- it truly made my day. Absolute JOY.

I feel this way about students even when they are difficult to manage in class or about my own two children even when they are driving me crazy-- I still love them all. I see them as individuals with different gifts-- as people who possess the potential to become what they are called to be. Not that I am a saint (far from it) or a perfect mother (my children will tell you the truth) or a model teacher (I'm not) or that I have all the answers (I don't).

Still, I want all people who work with children to feel JOY. I want our city, our state, our society-- our democracy-- to stand up for children. Never, ever, should someone be hired to work with children who does not like it. Never, ever, should someone be allowed to work with children who can't be bothered. Never, ever, should someone be hired to work with children who can't find another job and is just looking for some cash. Never, ever, should someone be allowed be work with children who doesn't have the necessary complex skills to respond to the curve balls that children throw to adults.

(By omission, you may be able to infer that I have lately witnessed interactions between adults and children that were less than desirable).

Mutual respect and common courtesy are just the starting points, but I want more. Our children deserve more. Both teaching and learning should be joyful pursuits even when the going gets tough.

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