Wednesday, September 05, 2012


One dictionary defines “salute” as “a gesture of respect, polite recognition, and acknowledgment, especially one made to or by a person when arriving or departing” – which makes me think we should perhaps give some salutes to each other during English class. After all, part of my task as a teacher is to encourage courtesy and respectfulness among the students, especially since much of what we do demands consideration of each others’ thoughts and feelings. When we find ourselves in a serious discussion about a work of literature, we must let others feel the delight that comes from sharing their best thoughts. We must award our classmates the honor of speaking their minds, as well as the earnest promise that we will sincerely listen. We must graciously recognize their presence with us, their powers of feeling and thinking. We must acknowledge, now and always, that each of us – students and old-timer teacher – are creations of a universe of astounding magnificence and influence. In English class, we are in the presence of august and worthy people. An occasional salute of some sort would surely be a suitable gesture.


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