Friday, February 11, 2011


Yesterday, at a time when the temptation to sink into low spirits about my teaching was especially strong, I thankfully thought of my heart. It came to me that my trustworthy heart had been dutifully pumping all through the previous night as I slept, and was doing its steady work even now, at the same time that I was seeing my teaching life as a dismal stage show. Even as I was offering condolences to myself for being such a catastrophe in the classroom, my stout heart was reliably sending life throughout my body. While I was seeing myself as a pedagogical disaster, a major miracle was occurring within me, moment after moment. This realization, as I sat in my classroom with a little wintry daylight left outside, was a restorer, a reminder of special truths, and a light that lit up the next few hours. As I drove home on the highway, I thought of other things that help me as faithfully as my heart – the car’s engine that keeps running without my assistance, the wide lanes on the road that let all of us move in a methodical manner, the sun that sends its warmth without fail, and – yes – even my mind that makes precisely the thoughts that are right for me every second of my life. When I’m working with my students, my heart is dependably doing its job, and so is my faithful brain, that miraculous muscle inside my head that works little wonders second by second so I can keep carrying out my classroom duties with an amount of success that never fails to surprise me.

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