Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Courage Within

As I began the current class, I did so with a bit of trepidation. It focuses on education. I wondered about my concerns...almost intimidation over the subject matter, and then it hit me.....this is what I always thought I wanted to do....teach. If I did not do well, or if I really struggled with the concepts in this class, would that be the end of my dream? Am I really reaching too far outside myself?

Moving through the information, looking at the requirements, I continued to wonder. Then one morning I had that "ah-ha!" moment. That time when the realization that whatever I truly desired would be. And as I think about everything that has been under discussion during the first week of this class I come back to a very basic and elemental thought. What one desires, one can achieve, regardless of circumstances, regardless of feelings. Even in fear. These thoughts are motivated by a captivating movie I just saw...the new Karate Kid. Here is a boy with a desire. His desire is to find acceptance, and not be beaten up any more. He does not want to be afraid. But while he was looking for a way this could happen he found a friend, and a new interest. He could learn Kung Fu. Now, he was in a country where children started learning this discipline as a way of life at a very young age. He comes in with another cultural outlook and an interest which quickly became a desire. And he ends up looking at a fight for his life.

This taught me that anything is possible if you desire it. You can achieve your desire even in the face of great fear. You can allow your courage to empower that which is deepest within you to conquer that fear as you come face to face with it. And you can discover a new passion out of your desire.

As teachers, really great teachers, what we can do is help our pupils learn to discover that desire, and then how to unlock the desire within. I know, as I was growing up, the most inspirational teachers of mine saw raw talent inside me, encouraged me in it, I developed desire to obtain something because of it, and then it became passion for me. And I did it through courage. Yes, it can be terrifying. Yes, it can even be painful, but it is always, always worth the effort. That's how we learn. That's how we grow. And that's what teaching and learning are all about....unlocking the courage within.

...giving voice to those with none....