How it dwells
On the Future! -how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!
Bells are signals in our lives. We have alarm bells, school bells, church bells, wedding bells, clock bells, orchestral bells, stock market bells; heck, we even have a liberty bell, albeit cracked. The structure of our life is indicated by sound. No bell sounds clearer than the one indicating end of the work day on Friday, where some can enjoy a three day weekend, and the kids get their summer break from school.
Earlier this week, I found a letter that I kept where a student wrote I was an asshole that nobody likes. Hmm, maybe someone should ask wife about that. The real treat came, though, when a student brought me a gift card to a Smoothie King. I drink a protein shake every day and this particular student noticed and thought I might get use out of the gift. Teaching is about always looking forward, preparing students for the next phase in their education and life.
Daughter loves her teacher; son adores his. In fact, wife and I feel very lucky about the two instructional leaders in their lives. See, what makes them special is their ability to demonstrate that they care about their students. Daughter feels like she has a friend; son feels safe to express himself and try new things. Teaching high school is different, of course, than the primary grades. Some teachers still try to win popularity contests but the “nurturing” stage is gone. In Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Mr. Hand forces Jeff Spicolli to give away the pizza he ordered that disrupted class and my favorite of all time, he went to the student’s house to make up for all the missed time Spicolli skipped.
Everyone says the world is going to hell, that the next generation of youth is paving the proverbial road. Truthfully, Poe saw this 150 years ago. Granted, he was a bit disturbed, to say the least. Kids today are the same as when I was their age; all I thought about was myself and where the next party would be held. Now that I lead children, I find myself wondering: if I spend every year teaching and get only one complaint (that I at least know about) countered with one praise then how can I be unhappy?