Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just a little focus

I feel compelled to write tonight. My inner voice has a definite twang tonight. She sounds like a Southern woman about to rip someone a new ass. So as you read this, remember to add extra syllables to the words and draaaaw them out.

First. I love teaching. There is nothing finer than having a student say "Aha, so that's why that happens!" or " man, Mrs. {Holder} you know everything!" (I assure you I do not). Or having them come back to me after a few years and tell me how much they learned. But I don't just teach science.
Now, I'm passionate about this.

High school is more than just facts.

It's about learning to do right because it is right. And as cliche' as that is, it is a truth that still stands as firm as it did 200 years ago. I believe it is my duty to help these kids take responsiblity for their life. To take ownership of it. To decide which beliefs are theirs and true, and which ones belong to others and should be discarded. We don't say "weird" or "stupid" in my class room. We do not belittle others if they are different from us, or even if they are, for that matter. I will not, will not! abide by a bully. We focus on the task at hand. We do not keep others from learning. We have the right to clean, working materials. We have the right to learn in peace. We have the right to be unafraid to express an opinion.

Pete had her first belt test last week and the ceremony was last evening. The Grand Master said that the best martial artist is a smart martial artist and what we really need is Cho Chum: Focus. Of the mind, body, and spirit. I really like that. I think I need some Cho Chum.

So, here's what I'm doing- remembering my purpose. Why I teach. Why I think I am the person who can do it. What skills I have to fulfill that purpose. What my goal is for each student and how I'm going to achieve my goal.
I cannot change the rest of it- the meetings, the paperwork, the frustration, the endless uphill battle, reluctant parents who don't care or think they have to be their child's "friend", parents who aren't there, meetings, paperwork. I will have cho chum.

I just needed to say that.

1 comment:

Mrs. Who said...

Thank you for this post. I, too, need to have cho chum.