Monday, October 04, 2004


"I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made a difference you have lived at all."

Leo Rosten

"Keep in mind that the true meaning of an individual is in how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good."

Ann Landers

"Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower."

S.H. Simmons

It's easy to like the quiet kids. I'm inspired by the smart kids. The funny kids and the friendly kids are irresistable.
But in the microcosmic sample of the world that is my classroom, I also teach mean, stupid, loud, and creepy kids. My first instinct is to recoil.

Then I pause, as my mind listens to the quiet voice of my mother, a Cleveland teacher in the 1950's; "The children who are the hardest to love, are the ones who need love the most."
So many of my students live their lives in survival mode. For some of them, nasty is all they have ever known.
It must be difficult, nearly impossible, to be kind if you are rarely treated with kindness.

So I take a deep breath, quickly pray for fortitude, and try to model compasssion.
Even if the student never appreciates, or even notices my efforts, I will at least look upon them as helping to build MY character.
Thanks Mom.

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