I make ice water available to my students in my classroom, and it’s gradually become obvious to me that I myself could be a similar kind of refreshment for the students. After hours of sitting in other classes and carrying out homework assignments, the kids are sometimes half crazed with confusion when they come to my classroom, and a little refreshment could be a restorative gift to them. Perhaps if I prepared myself to be like a cooling stimulation for the students rather than a bossy bringer of assignments and instructions -- perhaps then my classes could be a brighter part of the students’ day. I don’t mean to suggest that I should stand silently in a corner like a cooler full of water, or that thoughts of earnest, painstaking, and studious work should be thrown out the window. No, I can be a serious teacher and at the same time be a pick-me-up for my industrious and sometimes exhausted students. I can be a strict leader and at the same time be a glass of bracing ice water in their hot and hassled academic lives.
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