In a world where “me” is making its case for the most important and popular word, I’m pushing for something else in my classes. Amid the egocentric mayhem of our fairly selfish world, I want a different world in Room 2 – a world where kids and the teacher, instead of grabbing what they can get for themselves, treat each other like the real kings and queens in the room. It takes a little sacrifice on our part – not the sacrifice of diffidence and weakness, but the sturdy sacrifice that simply says there’s something wonderful in each person in the room and we want to watch for it and be thankful for it. Forgetting about ourselves is actually one of the smartest things we can do in English class, because it always calls out the creativity in others, which inevitably blesses us with its wealth. It’s like closing the door, for forty-eight minutes, to our small cares and concerns and, in turn, opening several dozen doors to the bountiful lives of the others in the room. It’s the kind of sacrifice that finds treasures for all of us.
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