Teaching

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Gerald Fierst and Anjel, reading my frog book

Young people give me hope!  Most days at least one student would come up with some new idea that dazzled me. ❤

I was told there would be no jobs for teachers while I was student teaching in an inner-city school (Minneapolis, so still fairly polite).  “She stands short in the front of the room, and will answer my questions” wrote one student 😉   I had wanted to teach since kindergarten, but instead, I spent several years not teaching due to post-baby-boom demographics.  Working for Prudential as secretary and then agent, I learned some organizational and sales skills that helped when I finally got to teach . . . 26 rewarding years.

Storytelling helped to make those years enjoyable and effective (see details on the workshops page).  At our last swap, I remembered a story Ron Adams shared with Gateway several years ago, of a teacher, a special student, and the message “He is risen” . . .  many felt that it couldn’t be told in public schools, so I had to prove it could, and my students loved it.  Here’s a version I found online, similar in most respects. http://fbctipton.org/thepastorspen_files/The_Empty_Easter_Egg.php

I have tried to model strength, and may have sometimes succeeded. In a discussion of Night I mused that while I hope I would be brave enough to offer shelter to those in danger, one can’t be sure until tested. One of my young women took a long hard look at me and said, “Yes, yes YOU would.”  I hope so, and it was nice to be affirmed.

I was humbled when meeting up with former students to learn the things they remember, not always the lessons we plan but the moments of kindness, the lessons in grace, often something so small that I don’t remember doing it, but they do.  I was equally humbled and grateful to receive their kindness, always when I most needed it.

Humor got us through long days and affection tempered discipline.  My last week of teaching, I raised my fist and intoned, “As God is my witness, I’ll never set my alarm for 5 a.m. again,” and my first period class clapped . . . 7:25 a.m. is TOO EARLY to start school.

I’m still teaching a little tai chi at the Y.  As Thoreau said, teaching is like being in jail, once it’s on your record, you can’t get away from it.

The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. — William Wordsworth, poet (1770-1850) 

A story and memories of my first teacher in kindergarten   https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/380/

I just visited another blog and loved these insights into teaching https://animmovablefeast.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/the-practice-of-teaching/  Loving the connections brought by this A-Z Challenge . . .

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Naomi Baltuck
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 21:24:23

    Really sweet and thought-provoking, Mary. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

  2. storytellermary
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 09:55:15

    I just visited another blog and loved these insights into teaching https://animmovablefeast.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/the-practice-of-teaching/

    Reply

  3. Kate Larkindale
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 13:49:50

    Teaching has to be the hardest job in the world. But also the most rewarding.

    Reply

    • storytellermary
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 20:00:14

      Yes! I want to appropriate the Peace Corp slogan: The hardest job you’ll ever love.
      I actually thought about joining the Peace Corp, but my father was afraid it was too risky . . .

      Reply

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