Tuesday, July 11, 2006

JOURNAL: July 11, 2006

Yesterday was a proud day for me as a father. I’ve been helping my youngest son prepare his application package for teaching jobs (he just completed his Masters and student teaching), and yesterday it came to me clearly how impressive he will be as an applicant. He may not get his dream job right away, but there is no doubt that some principal before too long is going to jump at the chance to have Matt teaching at her school. Looking through his cover letter, resume, and letters of recommendation, it’s obvious that he would bring intelligence, experience, preparedness, and – best of all – an unusual kind of worldly wisdom to his classroom. If I were a principal, I would perhaps be most interested in Matt’s non-traditional teaching experience. He has been the director of volunteer services at a homeless shelter, where he had to teach volunteers, including young school children, how to be of service to less fortunate people. In addition, he has taught children in a poor village in Belize, and has been a caseworker at a mental health clinic, where he taught his clients how to survive despite their handicaps. Now, at the age of 33, he is ready to bring that experience, and the wisdom that grew from it, into a classroom of 3rd graders, and the children in his school (wherever it might be) will be fortunate young people. They will have a gentle but strong teacher, a person who intuitively understands that teaching is a mystery and a privilege. Today he goes for his first interview, and I’m sure the interviewers will be nodding their heads in admiration. He may not get this particular job, but a roomful of lucky kids is waiting for him somewhere down the line.

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