Reflections from Mid-Year “I Wonder….”

Reflections From a Teacher


I wonder….


Another semester has ended and I sit tonight…it is late…  Wordless, thought-filled, I wonder. I wonder who feels a difference. Was there a notion shared or a question asked that spawned a latent understanding or did a shift occur in that quiet space between lectures, disagreements, discussions and words and words and more words expressed…

 Did the soul of the world shift just a bit as young adults and children entered into buildings constructed from political debates, monies bargained and exchanged for new kinds of schools-schools constructed of teachers who desired more than air for a child to feel one moment of success, an ounce of excitement and a growing desire to know more!  Did we serve one another in a way that our questions and responses felt consequential, yet gentle?  Were we listening to the shout –outs, and to the soft, possibly unspoken responses that were easy to forget in a day filled with “making a mark” on a child’s life? Did we see the pain beyond the agitated and angry eyes and words?  Did we feel  the unrest, the weariness of extended days, the drills, the  tests, the afterschool programs and all that has come to define who we are that teaches and who we are that learns.    

Did we take care of ourselves? Did we discover another layer of who we are as that student or colleague pushed   us into a place of discomfort where the unknown was allowed in, even though it did not feel so good? 

 Tonight I stumbled upon the memories of the past few months and I wondered about my students as they are mirrors for me. I wonder if they are able to step outside the wretched “busyness” of performing and doing. Are they able to envision a purpose for their life while viewing the continuous demands and rigid schedules as tools for growth that seemingly drug them and us out of sleep each morning? Will our students create an identity and a set of beliefs that are malleable and beautifully breakable or will they shut down and give up when a dream is shattered or disappointments feel palpable? What will I do?  How will I be? Did we teach from a place of victim or creator? Did we vigorously live our words, and if we didn’t …were we tender with ourselves?  


How am I doing? Was I present?  Am I present? Did I stop and feel it all…through meetings, the classes, the panels of debaters, the elections, the presentations, projects and tests…Did I move within to listen deeply to that student I might have misunderstood ?  Did I read the stories in my colleagues’ eyes to know their beginnings and endings? How will the landscape change when I return? Will I truly remember that  the heart of the world lives inside one child, one adolescent, one student I touch…but the heart continues its rhythmic  beat when that one child one adolescent, one student touches me…creating more questions than answers swimming downstream even when the currents are rugged and harsh…

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