Friday, February 16, 2007

I’ve been thinking lately that, as a teacher, I would like to be like the wind. The wind does wonderful things, exerts its power in myriad marvelous ways, and yet no ever sees it. We see the effects of the wind (waving branches, rippling flags, a wild surf) but never the wind itself. We could say that the wind, in a sense, is humble. It stays invisible while its ever-changing efforts continue to alter the landscape. As a teacher, I guess I’d like to become more and more invisible. I’d like to have what I do become less showy and front-and-center, and more reserved and out-of-sight. Like the wind, I’d like my presence to be almost invisible, so that the effects of my lessons (the students’ growth as readers and writers) can be the focus of attention. The wind doesn’t need to be seen to have an impact, and neither do I.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From “Prayers” by Mary Gordon

(First appeared in The Paris Review, then in Best Spiritual Writing 2000)


For those who paint the undersides of boats, makers of ornamental drains on roofs too high to be seen; for cobblers who labor over inner soles; for seamstresses who stitch the wrong sides of linings; for scholars whose research leads to no obvious discovery; for dentists who polish each gold surface of the fillings of upper molars; for sewer engineers and those who repair water mains; for electricians; for artists who suppress what does injustice to their visions; for surgeons whose sutures are things of beauty. For all those whose work is for Your eye only, who labor for Your entertainment or their own, who sleep in peace or do not sleep in peace, knowing that their effects are unknown.

Protect them from downheartedness and from diseases of the eye.

Grant them perseverance, for the sake of Your love which is humble, invisible and heedless of reward.