Sunday, January 21, 2007

Strange as it may sound, one of my goals as a teacher is to help my students feel more like mountains. As they engage in the various activities in my English class, I would like them to feel that they have, like mountains, a solid base or foundation. Unlike the shakiness and insecurity that so many adolescents feel, I hope my students can gradually feel more solid, more steadfast, more durable. They have far more inner strength than they realize. Perhaps I can help them understand that they can be stable, like mountains, in the midst of the grimmest of circumstances. A mountain seems to sit in serenity through ferocious storms, and I would like to convince my students that they can do the same. If I suddenly announce a surprise in-class essay, I hope my students can react like a mountain in a storm. The snow and wind batter the mountain, but it stays just as it always is – strong and unflinching. Perhaps my students can react with a similar patience and fortitude in the face of academic shocks. Of course, if I want my students to be like mountains, then I must be also. If my classroom can be thought of as a mountain range, I must be a high peak among other peaks. Whatever happens during class, whatever disappointments, distresses, and frustrations come my way when I’m teaching, I must remain a long-lasting, unflappable, and rock-hard presence. We mountains in Room 2 must stand tall together.

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