Although the Keepers have been having trouble contacting Dream Eater, it seems he’ll make a special exception for his favorite student.
Speaking of students, I’m very excited for a job opportunity I applied for yesterday! The Pop Culture Classroom (the non-profit that runs Denver Comic Con) is looking for Classroom Instructors and I’m really hoping that I could be one of them. I love working with clients as an editor and coach, but I also really miss teaching. This job would not be full time, so I’d still have the schedule flexibility to continue working with my clients and creating LeyLines. I’d just also get to travel around to different schools, teaching literacy and helping kids find a new means of self-expression through comics. Pretty much a combination of everything that I feel passionate about in life!
Writing up the cover letter got me thinking about some of my favorite students that I worked with. I wonder how they’re doing? Some of them are probably in middle school now. Middle school! Aaaauugh time moves so fast!! I hope they’re doing well. Every student had their own unique gifts and strengths, and I hope that those are recognized and cultivated by their teachers. It always amazed me how a kid would just come alive if someone simply showed interest in the things they cared about. Whether it was drawing, or chess, or science, or architecture. Encouraging them and validating the things they cared about could be so powerful.
The world is so quick to discourage, so fast to say, “Well, that’s great and all, but don’t you think you should be thinking about XYZ?” When the truth of the matter is, XYZ usually has a lot more to do with the adult projecting their own ideas about the world on the kid, than something the kid really needs to worry about. So the power of a kind word, an encouraging word, that sees the PERSON and acknowledges what THEY care about can be so incredibly important. It was something I tried to do as much as I could, and it was magical to see the results. Enthusiasm is an engine all its own. Often students could rise to any occasion, as long as they were given the freedom and support to engage in a way that let them care about the task.
It makes me think of some of my favorite elementary teachers, and how they got us interested in a subject. Hauling a slab of rock up a hill with ropes and rollers, when studying the Egyptian pyramids. Acting out the Boston Tea Party in the middle of a snowy winter day, flinging loose leaf tea into the creek behind the school while wrapped in blankets. Making our own businesses, creating class-room money, keeping track of checkbooks and stocks while we tried to sell goods and advertise our wares. Dividing the classroom into senators, presented with the rules of the Senate, the issues actually being debated at that time, and being assigned constituents to represent, regardless of our personal political leanings. These were the kinds of activities that I still remember to this day. Interesting that so many of them have to do with either history or business, two topics that I disliked as a kid, but have come to adore as an adult. Coincidence…?
What lessons from your childhood stand out in your mind?