Saturday, September 29, 2012
A Heavy Heart
I taught Sam in my church kindergarten classroom. He was a different thinker. He often challenged me to see things from a completely different perspective. One of my favorite classroom memories: Sam pressing his ear against the wall. "How does the wall sound?" he asked me. I pressed my ear to the wall to listen to the classroom next door. Then Sam lay on the floor. "How does the floor sound?" he asked. I let Sam tell me instead of lying on the floor (since I would take lots of space and block the movement of other children in the room).
Sam's curiosity amazes me. He would ask questions about all kinds of things. Sometimes he would ask me the same question from week to week, I think to see if my answer would change. Often he would repeat my words (almost exactly) that I had said weeks before about a topic.
My friend Sam inspired me to think of new directions in my own life. I wondered about unusual thinkers like Sam in the school classroom. Sam had great teachers but I wondered about other boys and girls. My experiences with Sam made me want to help other boys and girls in their learning.
As you know, I made the jump to teaching full-time this year. I'm in a first grade classroom today partly because of Sam. I have a long way to go before I will be a good teacher for children like Sam and for all the kids. I have a couple of different thinkers in my classroom right now. And I am even more determined to be a better teacher to them...and to each child in my classroom.
Sam, I will miss your smile and your greeting. I will miss your questions and your observations. I will miss you. But I will never forget what you taught me. And I will try to pass that along to others - kids and teachers - as I work to be a good teacher.