Friday, June 08, 2012


I love the word “equable”, especially as it applies to teaching. It means, according to one dictionary,“unvarying, steady, free from extremes, not easily disturbed.” I would like my students to see me this way. In this world of fickleness and caprice bordering on chaos, my young students desperately need to be in the presence of adults who are stable, composed, and resolute. They need to see that some things – and people – do not change like the weather. They need to know that some people are predictably strong and calm, hour after hour, day after day. I would like to be one of those people for my students. Of course, it’s not easy. Equability is not like a suit of clothes one can simply put on and magically become serene and steady. It has to come from inside, from a deep understanding of the basic equability of the universe. Everything, from the farthest star to the smallest cell inside us, moves in steady harmony, doing precisely what it must do no matter what happens around it. And indeed, whatever happens around it is also happening exactly as it must, and in perfect harmony, no matter what appearances seem to suggest. If I can gradually come to a thorough understanding that I am part of this kind of equable universe, then, and only then, can I be a serene and steady teacher for my students. Then I can be, perhaps, like the reliable clock that keeps ticking at its quiet, steady pace in even the wildest storm. There would be something valuable in being that kind of teacher.

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