Saturday, June 19, 2010
A SENSE OF AWE
It might seem silly or even preposterous to speak of feeling a sense of awe while teaching English to teenagers, but nonetheless, it’s a feeling I’ve often had. Mainly, I am often astonished at the mere fact that I’m actually granted the privilege of being a teacher of kids. Teaching young people is an honor, a mark of prestige, an exceptional gift given to only a tiny percentage of people, and, amazingly, I’ve been bestowed with that distinction for 44 consecutive years. After all this time, I’m still in awe of the fact that parents gladly entrust their beloved children to me for 48 minutes each day – amazed that I’m totally trusted as a reliable and responsible teacher for their young ones. To me, it’s an honor of the highest order. I’m also in awe of the wondrous hearts and minds of the students I work with. I can’t see into their inner lives, but experience tells me their minds are miracle workers and their hearts have as much goodness as the sky has stars. Again and again, the thoughts of students have shined lights on some of my musty, ramshackle ideas, and feelings they share from their almost brand new hearts have often made English class a brighter place to be. Truth is, just working with a few dozen young human beings is enough in itself to give me a sense of awe. After all, these kids are unique creations of the universe, the kinds of phenomena that are full of fresh wonders each moment. Their blood, breath, cells, and brains are bright and surprising each second, and I’m privileged to be witness to their miracle-making day after day, September to June.