Power

Sunday, May 10, 2020

THE POWER OF CALMNESS

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            During my long teaching career, I always wanted my classroom to be a place of calmness. In the midst of their frenzied adolescent lives, I hoped English class would give my students a glimpse of  the power of peacefulness. Perhaps my classes, if they weren’t the most awe-inspiring experience of their day, could at least be among the most serene. When they entered my classroom, I hoped the students would breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Ah, calmness for the next 48 minutes!” Needless to say, I had to be a reliable model of this calmness, and that meant building a good substructure of serenity in my own life. When I was planning a lesson, for instance, I had to pacify my tendency to fret about whether I would be teaching the absolutely perfect lesson in the absolutely perfect way, and just gratefully accept the ideas that flowed into me. Likewise, when I was in the classroom, I needed to soothe my worries about whether I was being a flawless teacher, and calmly trust the authority of each present moment. To me, the greatest power in the universe is the power of calmness. The universe goes serenely about its business each moment, and so should I. Stars keep calmly spinning, seasons keep calmly changing, dawns keep calmly arising, and my classes, I thought, should keep calmly flowing like a steady, unflustered river. The students deserved that. As frantic as their young lives sometimes were, they deserved to have some untroubled, peaceable places in their days, and my classroom, I hoped, would be one of them.

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A DAY OF NOT BOWING

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