Tuesday, September 18, 2007


C is for Calm

I would like my classroom to be a place of utter calmness. In their hectic adolescent lives, I hope my students can discover the power of serenity in my room. Perhaps my English class, if it isn’t the most thrilling experience of their day, can at least be among the most tranquil. When they enter my classroom, I hope the students breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Ah, quietness and peace for the next 48 minutes!” Needless to say, I have to be a reliable model of this calmness, and that means building a good foundation of serenity in my life. When I’m planning a lesson, for instance, I must pacify my tendency to fret and worry about whether I’m teaching the right material or enough material, and just peacefully accept whatever ideas come to me. When I’m teaching, I need to soothe my worries about whether I’m doing a good job and just trust the power of each present moment. Indeed, the greatest power in the universe is the power of calmness. The universe goes serenely about its business each moment, and so should I. Stars keep quietly spinning, seasons keep quietly changing, dawns keep quietly arising, and my classes should keep quietly flowing like an imperturbable river. The students deserve that. As frantic as their young lives are, they ought to have a few untroubled, halcyon places in their lives, and my classroom, I hope, can be one of them.

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