Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gratitude January 30, 2009

First, a disclaimer: this post is a day late--going up on January 31, but concerning the gratitude I felt on January 30. The reason for the omission yesterday was a schedule packed a little too full of work and fun to squeeze in time at the keyboard.

That said, Friday I felt grateful for the help of my two new student teachers, Amanda and Kendall. They are, first of all, smart. They seem to be entering the field of education because it is their calling, not the best choice among too few choices.

They come with experience. Amanda has worked as a scout leader and for a bookstore in the children's department. Kendall has taught outdoor education in Yosemite and at the Marin County Outdoor Education Program at Walker Creek. Student teachers who've spent considerable time in the company of school age children have a good and useful head start.

They are enthusiastic and energetic. We worked yesterday to put up a word wall for the kindergartners to refer to when writing their own stories. This was work that would have been a drudge for me to do alone. Instead, with the assistance and company of two young and sparkly women I did the task with pleasure.

Finally, they're young, about my daughter's age, years younger than the students I first taught at the beginning of my career. There's no word I know in English to describe the pleasure of passing your life's work into the capable hands of others whom you know will carry on the noble work (equanimity mixed with delight?) but wordless pleasures can leave you speechless and with a little more spring in your step.

There. I knew it would take about twenty minutes to express the gratitude I felt on Friday, time that wasn't available then. I'll post again later today for January 31.

6 comments:

Delwyn said...

You are very fortunate to have 2 student teachers with you to participate in your classroom - and they are very lucky to have you mentor them. I don't know you other than from what you write in your blogs but I feel that you are a very kind, intelligent, thoughtful person with a great love of teaching and community. The students will be thankful I am sure.

I spent a couple of years mentoring young people in one of the local high schools through a community mentoring programme which has had great results. They were kids at risk of falling out of school and becoming 'problem youths'. It was very rewarding work - hard but satisfying at the same time. The outcome was rather like counselling - often you don't see any change immediately but you have faith that you may have planted a seed that will germinate in its own time and its own way.

Delwyn said...

On a completely different note - I find the blue background very glarey - the contrast between blue and white text is high and makes it hard to read. Does it look like that to you or is it just my eyes? I do find I never read a blog that is written on a black background no matter how good the content! It is not gentle on the eye. Please take this with a grain of salt....

Mr. Kinder said...

Delwyn, I value your readership and your feedback about my experiments with blog design. I've reverted to something like I had before the recent changes. I hope you like it better. And, don't worry, I wasn't invested in the "dark" look; I just wanted to try it out to see how it looked.

Let me know what you think.

Delwyn said...

Yes this is very easy to read, a whole lot better....I hope you haven't been irritated by my comment....But maybe others saw it the way I did too....

Katherine said...

Speaking as someone who was a student-teacher only 8 years ago, I know how very valuable - no, essential - a good associate teacher is. Unfortunately I didn't get one, and lost my confidence. But I have gathered myself up since, and have spent many teaching hours pouring out the best I can be.

Mr. Kinder said...

Delwyn I'm not irritated in the least. Grateful for your feedback is how I feel.

Katherine, I hope to be useful as a mentor teacher, as we call them here in California. It's my first time, so I'm learning, too, and will no doubt make mistakes and learn how to do it better. I think one challenge for me will be getting out of the way and letting them get tiller time.