In anticipation of life and the stories still waiting to be told

It is an absolute joy to see my students grow.

While I have seen some subtle physical changes over the months, what impresses me more is their growth in wisdom and tact. Teachers today measure success differently, well, at least I do. Years ago there was the fixation with IQ (intelligence) then a decade ago we’ve been hearing of EQ (emotion). Lately, we’ve been talking about AQ (adversity) or how well our students deal with stress and challenges. We teach them that as long as their heart is in the right place, there is nothing they can’t hurdle.

I’ve returned about half of my students’ journals today. I’ve picked up memorable entries too — one called me The Giver and the other was worried about losing the magic. Nonetheless, I am just so thankful for them. Over the past days, reading them has been a relief for me. They drew me out of my world and into theirs, reigniting in me that feeling of infinite possibility I’ve first encountered when I began teaching.

When I entered my cubicle this morning, another notebook was waiting for me. At first a sigh washed over me — I thought I was done! — until I opened the pages and remembered why I am doing this in the first place.

The journal was deceivingly simple but it began with the words:

“It is better to cross the line and suffer the consequences
than to just stare at the line for
the rest of your life.”

– rules for the game called patintero –

May as well be for the game called life.

Then in another entry, she shared with me this story:

“As some travelers were making their way along a seashore, they came onto a high cliff. Looking out at the sea, they saw a log floating at some distance. At first they thought it must be a large ship and so, they waited in hope of seeing it enter the harbor. But as the log drifted nearer, they no longer thought it was a ship but a small boat. Finally, when it reached the beach, they saw it was nothing but a long and realized that all their watching and waiting had been in vain.”

In her next entry, she talked about what the story meant: “Our mere anticipating of life often outruns its realities.”

This is why I love what I do. And that’s to live.

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