Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wise Beyond His Years

When people ask me whether I regret leaving teaching, I answer them honestly. I don't regret it because it was going to kill me -- the negatives from all of the red tape and politics I faced far outweighed the positives -- but yes, I miss the kids. 8th grade was just about perfect for me (but the irony was that the bastards in the district office acted a lot less mature and they're the ones who had me tearing my hair out!).

Educators I tell this to know exactly where I'm coming from. Others I tell (those from outside the didactic realm) usually react funnily -- like, 8th graders?! You cannot be serious. Yes, trust me, I am. And every once in a while, stories like this showcase exactly what it is I miss. This 13-year-old solved a problem. When he saw an injustice, he didn't bitch and moan about it on his blog or write an article for an un-sponsored underground newspaper to start some grass-roots push for change (both things I, as an English teacher, would have strongly encouraged my students to do), he applied true wisdom to the situation. He thought like his enemy and created something to which they could relate -- something in their 'language' (where would this world be without PowerPoint?). Of course they acquiesced.

My point is that all kids possess true wisdom like this. We just rarely have teachers who are allowed to creatively nurture it out of them. That's not a dig on teachers. The key word in that sentence is "allowed."

Think about that while I top off the Grey Goose in my water bottle. (See? True wisdom.)



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