There are days – like today – when I feel like a wealthy man as I move among my teenage students. Leading the class through a lesson, I feel like I’m wearing a thousand-dollar suit and swinging a priceless watch on a chain. I feel richer than a king, and bighearted enough to give a good deal of my wealth away. I picture myself tossing out coins with each smile and word. Where does this feeling come from? Simply put, I know that I have unlimited resources at my disposal, primarily in the form of an infinite supply of good ideas. In the bank of my mind, my account of thoughts is bottomless. It can never be overdrawn. I don’t have much real money, and I rent a modest apartment and drive a low-cost car, but in my classroom, I have a limitless amount of ideas to “spend”. Not all of my ideas are dazzling or clever or even interesting, but they’re all potentially helpful and even transformative – all umpteen zillion of them. I spend my ideas freely and cheerily during each class – dealing them out to the kids like cold cash. Of course, they aren’t actually “my” ideas. I don’t “make” them like the mint makes dollars. As far as I can tell, ideas just arrive at my life, by the dozens and thousands -- constantly, surprisingly and sometimes enchantingly – and from me they flow out into words for my students. Since a rich river of ideas is available for me (and for all of us, if we only knew it), I ramble around my classroom like an openhanded millionaire.
© 2010 Hamilton Salsich