Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Beyond no. 2 pencils

My dear spouse, circa 1961, Baltimore.
My dear spouse was not fond of school until he was well into his university years.  He reports a sense of dread associated with all aspects: the back-to-school shopping, the return to routine, making new friends, gaining confidence and competence in a wide array of skills, navigating the social milieu, and so on.  I find it a tad puzzling, given his high level of academic achievement through the years.  But then again, success takes on different meaning for each of us, and though he soared academically, he does not have happy memories of school.

As a teacher of young children, it's important to me to create a safe space where students can stretch themselves with risk-taking at their own pace.  Some are so stunned by the entire experience of a full day of school that by day's end, well, they ain't got much left.

One dear soul approached me 15 minutes before dismissal today and in a barely audible voice uttered my name.  Pointing to his eyes with a pair of fingers, he directed my gaze to his face just seconds before the tears began to fall.  Unable to speak between sobs and sniffs, he accepted a brief touch and some gentle direction and packed up his things like a trooper.  

It turns out he was anxious about the after-school pick up, fretting about whether his mother would in fact arrive.  He agreed that if he finds himself unable to speak, he would try to express himself in writing.   That's success in my book, and, I trust, in his.

1 comment:

  1. All of us should have had more Jennys as teachers early in life. I know that my teachers made a profound impact on whom I am, mostly for good.