Thursday Tidbits

Posted on October 22, 2020 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

I love Inuit art


The second time around.

Small victories.

Of course, we would all like to win the lottery.

We’d like to hit the game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the championship.

We would like to create an award- winning quilt.

We would like to be recognized as the greatest talent in our field of endeavor.

We’d like to get a 29 hand in bridge.

Sadly, or maybe not when it comes to lottery winners, these things are rare and usually occur mostly in our imagination.

Most of life’s victories are small, almost imperceptible but taken over a lifetime, add up to a life filled with satisfaction and gratitude.

So, what constitutes a small victory? Maybe it’s perfecting a recipe that you’ve struggled with after many tries. It could be learning a new skill like carpentry or cross stitch. Can there be greater joy than planting your first garden and seeing one fragile green shoot poke through the dark soil? A child’s first step could hardly be described as earth shattering or monumental unless you are a new parent. There are thousands if not millions of small victories.

And why, pray tell, I am waxing eloquent on such a seemingly benign subject? Good question. I’m never quite sure where these ideas come from but this one was easy.

I believe a big part of being a good teacher is the ability to observe. Of course, I don’t have much cred in this department (being a good teacher) as I still consider myself a rookie. I might be one of the oldest rookies on the planet. Remind me to check out the Guiness World Book of records or better still maybe I should just check out a Guiness! I do think though that my writing has taught me to pay attention to my surroundings. While I am flailing away every day trying to match wits with a classroom full of 11-year olds, I am also a spectator. What I am witnessing is magical.

I will admit that the word magical never entered my mind at any point in the first year I was up north in regards to the classroom. Plain and simple, it was hard. Most of us would concur that most things in life are easier the second time around.

I won a small lottery when I was given the opportunity to teach the same students again this year. You see, last year, I had a split grade 5/6 class and this year I have last year’s grade 5s. I know the students. They know me. The gamesmanship has ended, and we are now a team.

Two weeks ago, I witnessed magic in the classroom for the first time. A student who had struggled mightily last year shocked me when he answered a math question. Last year he wouldn’t have dared blurting out an answer, such was his lack of confidence. He even had the courage to come up to the Smart Board and demonstrate how he got the solution to the problem. I have also found myself grinning as I watch one student help another learn to read. These are what I call small victories but truly they are monumental. Learning basic skills is far more important than hitting one out of the park. Come to think of it, learning how to read and write IS hitting it out of the park.

The second time around.

And speaking of non-sequiturs for which I am famous….

Those of you who know me well understand that there’s always a song rattling around this old brain, so it seems only appropriate that I conclude this piece with a refrain from old blue eyes himself. It doesn’t fit particularly well with the theme of this piece but who cares!

“Love is lovelier the second time around,

Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground,

It’s that second time you hear your love song sung,

Makes you think that perhaps, that love, like youth is wasted on the young.”

The Second Time Around- Frank Sinatra

Have a great weekend.

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