Thursday, April 29, 2010


     An old hymn speaks of “patience flowing from a fountain”, and I often wish I had a few of those fountains in my classroom. No quality is more important in teaching teenagers than patience, but it sometimes seems like my patience dribbles from a dried out creek bed instead of pouring from a fountain.  I seem to run out of patience as repeatedly as rivers run out of water in the parched places of the earth. I sometimes feel like I have a far too shallow supply of this calming classroom medicine that has made miracles for me on those occasions when I’ve put it to use. When lessons have looked like they might explode in my face, I’ve sometimes been able to diminish the tightness and pressure of things with a balanced flow of patience, just quietly letting the lesson work itself out in its best way. When the temptation has come to hurry the students through an activity, a stream of patience has occasionally softened my edginess and enabled me to be a quiet coach for the kids instead of an uptight dictator. Strangely enough, I often think that, if I could ever understand it correctly, I would see that patience is actually a bottomless, shoreless sea to which I always have access. It’s always there, inside me, waiting to smooth out a rough situation or dampen the dried out areas of a typical day of classes. I don’t seem to have enough patience because I don’t understand what it is – not a material substance that can be measured and lost, but a substance of the heart that has no bounds. It’s an unlimited lake I’m lucky to always have access to, no matter how badly lessons bomb or goals get lost in disorder.
© 2010 Hamilton Salsich

No comments: