Courage in the Classroom
I like to think of my scholars as heroes. I see it in my classroom everyday – the boldness of young people trying their best to climb the steep trails of serious reading and writing. They’re only 13 and 14, but in their intrepid approach to my difficult assignments they act like valiant adults. They sometimes appear to me as warriors instead of just confused and struggling teenagers. Someone might doubt this claim, since it’s only an English class, and they’re only eighth and ninth graders. How can I seriously suggest that these kids are heroic? In answer, I can only say that one of the definitions for ‘brave’ is “possessing courageous endurance", and I see a lot of this kind of fortitude in their willingness to stay with a daunting assignment until it’s completed. They may not be scaling mountain peaks in my classroom, but they are bravely dealing, day by day, with demanding circumstances. Even just sitting up straight, which I require in all my classes, necessitates a certain kind of heroism. My scholars won’t win any medals for bravery, and no one is going to cheer for the valiant acts they perform (except me), but I see them as young soldiers of serious English scholarship, and I’m proud of their valor.