Tuesday, August 02, 2011


"Green Socks", oil, by Linda Apple
Every so often the thought comes to me that I am too old to be teaching teenagers, but then, thankfully, I usually remember that the really essential qualities in teaching, like patience, simply can’t grow old. Teachers -- like me with my folds and furrows and shining baldness -- definitely grow old, but can a quality like patience get gray-haired and weary as the years pass? Can you picture patience, in its old skin-and-bones, bemoaning the fact that it can’t do its job anymore? Old teachers moan and groan, but patience, being of the heart and spirit, is as ageless as the sky. At the end of another year, I personally may feel weary and worn down, but surely I wouldn’t look at the sky and feel sorry that it’s grown so old. The sky in my 69th year is as fresh and youthful-looking as it was when I was six, and likewise, the patience that is available to me is as alert and perky as ever. I could be wheeled into my classroom on a cart, coughing and wheezing in my elderly way, but still my patience could be as strong as a stallion and as endless as the sky above our school.

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