Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Happy October.
When our 29-year-old daughter, Morgan, was three years old, her "Mother's Morning Out" teacher at our church pulled me aside. "You know, don't you," she whispered in her soft and kindly voice, "Morgan is the leader of the class." Well, I wasn't terribly surprised to receive such news, as Morgan had been giving me driving directions from her car seat for a while at that point.
That take-charge attitude served her well growing up, and continues to flourish in her chosen profession as an elementary school teacher for several years now. She shepherds her third graders with confidence, compassion, and the not infrequent dance party. (Let's just say a new generation of youngsters knows lyrics to Backstreet Boys songs by heart.)
Last week, Morgan learned she had been chosen as her school's Teacher of the Year! It was a banner week in her classroom, as her exuberant charges had also won the Spirit award at the weekly assembly, and got to keep the trophy until this week. Of course we are proud as punch of her, and not really surprised, knowing how many times she's been found underneath a desk with a troubled child who has shut down emotionally, or cheering on her kiddos like a crazy person at a Field Day tug-of-war match. And did I mention that *poetry* is a regular feature in her classroom? :0)
So CONGRATS to our Morgan, and here's a bit of a philosophical take on teaching by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931):
Then said a teacher, Speak to us of Teaching.
And he said:
No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.
The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.
And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.
For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.
And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.
This poem appears in The Prophet (Knopf, 1923) and is in the public domain.
Many thanks to ALL you educators reading this right now - your gifts and commitment are appreciated! One of these superstars is hosting our Roundup this week: Catherine at Reading to the Core. Thanks, Catherine!