I need to have a little more mercy on myself. When things go off-course in the classroom, I need to loosen up and smile instead of censuring myself. Rather than giving way to discouragement, I should probably just be cheerfully inquisitive about where my lesson went askew. I should probably just grin, get out my detective’s badge, and go off on a hunt for the reasons for the sidetracked class. As a youngster, I was taught to be merciful to people, and shouldn’t that include myself? If I show mercy to my students when their youthful foolishness occasionally lets itself loose in my classes, shouldn’t I do the same for myself, a loyal but limited teacher who always tries but frequently fails? Like the good father in the Bible, shouldn’t I warmly welcome myself back, the penitent prodigal seeking mercy for a messed up lesson? The universe, after all, is a vast place, large enough to easily and comfortingly hold zillions of mistakes. So what if I break a lesson into pieces before it barely gets started. It’s just a mistake, and mistakes are as common – and as essential – as wrinkly leaves in autumn. Old leaves make soil and soil makes new leaves, and my stumbles in the classroom create a chance for mercy, which I, being a resident of this generous universe, have a copious supply of and should be happy to distribute to myself when asked.
© 2010 Hamilton Salsich