Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I doubt if many of us would think “meek” could be used to describe a successful teacher of teenagers, and yet, in my 5th decade in the classroom, that quality seems more and more important to me. Contrary to some definitions of the word, a meek person is not necessarily a weak person – not a person who submissively gives in, bows down, apologizes, and lets people pound away on him. A meek teacher, in my mind, is simply a patient teacher, a gentle teacher, a long-suffering teacher (in the sense of not being too bothered by broken-down lessons or badly behaved kids or whole school-days gone crazy). The meek teacher, the kind I hope to be before I finish this adventure, has the strength of genuine gentleness and patience – perhaps the gentleness of great rivers that roll along no matter what happens, perhaps the patience of the limitless sky that says yes to any clouds that come along. It's being meek in a mighty way, which is, I think, exactly what teens need from adults.

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