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Lessons

One of my primary objectives as an educator is to learn something while I am in the process of promoting learning. The best part of that is the fact that my students are usually unknowing of the wisdom that they are purveying.

First example: Watching kids on the playground, I see a child rolling around in the dirt. He’s wearing an expensive outfit that has Nike insignias on it. His message is, “I’m having fun, regardless of what I’m wearing” or its logo.

The next lesson was from a larger child, probably a fifth grader. It was still recess but he was disinterested in running around or swinging from metal devices. He was lying on his stomach, totally unaware of his peers, engrossed in a math lesson. To me, he’s hope for the future of our intellectual communities.

Another playground participant was thoroughly involved in a series of gymnastic moves on the equipment. What was unusual about her was her (unfortunate) obesity. She was either too young, too self-confident or too oblivious to the peer pressures of many fifth graders to care that her potbelly was hanging for all to see. Maybe it’s an advantage to act without caring who’s looking.

And finally, there was my young man from a class that I taught several weeks ago. As we all left the classroom at that time, he had hugged me and stated without reservation, “I am so glad that I had the chance to meet you.”

Today he ran up to me in the cafeteria as I was preparing to leave the school. He called out to me and asked if I remembered his name. Of course I did, a fact that pleased him very much. As we parted, I told him that he was a remarkable young man and that he must never let anyone tell him differently. Then I assured him that I would never forget him, to which he replied with total conviction, “I am the son of an Army captain!” That pretty much says it all. God bless these United States of America. Shalom.

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