(print version below)
Thumbing through a dictionary this morning, I came upon this definition for blessing – “a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being” – and I instantly wished that my English classes could be a blessing for my students. I even wished, as wistful as it sounds, that my students might some day say, as they leave my classroom, “This class was a real blessing, Mr. Salsich” – meaning, maybe, that this class brought some gifts they were sincerely grateful for -- brought some true light for their lives. I can picture it, the modest teacher suddenly made glad by the goodwill of students who have seen some wisdom softly shining in his small classroom. The dictionary I was using said the word could also mean “a person’s sanction or approval”, as in “Mr. Salsich gave the students’ work his blessing”, and I thought, no, not always their work, but always their lives. All my students are made of the finest materials the universe has to offer – far-traveling thoughts, feelings that go anywhere with daring, and hearts that hold more than anyone knows. These are young people with boundless powers, students whose future is as immeasurable as the sky that spreads above them – and so, yes, I give them my blessing, liberally and for as long as I will teach.