While working at The Studios
a former student came and introduced
me to her children: three and six and eight.
I don’t remember how she did in school
(I don’t remember anybody’s grades.)
It’s only how they acted and behaved
in class that I remember. Were they kind
and thoughtful? Generous? And did they push
themselves to do the things that others thought
beyond them? As a teacher I admit
that I was lucky. Either God or the
computer placing students knew that I
could make it in the classroom only if
my students were the best. And so they were.
I never understood when colleagues said
their students wouldn’t work or that they wished
their students cared about their classes, tried
instead of being satisfied to fail.
I thought our students were the same, and yet
the students in my classes could have had
a scarecrow for a teacher and they’d still
have come to class and pushed themselves and learned.
I never really learned the proper way
to teach. My lesson plan would often be
just three short words. I’d tell them, “Get to work.”
and then I’d lean against the wall and watch
them while they worked and struggled, worked and learned.
I often think I should apologize.
My students certainly deserved the best.