Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Illuminations of Childhood
...the experiences and illuminations of childhood and early youth become in later life the types, standards and patterns of all subsequent knowledge and experience, or as it were, the categories according to which all later things are classified -- not always consciously, however.
And so it is that in our childhood years the foundation is laid of our later view of the world, and there with as well of its superficiality or depth: it will be in later years unfolded and fulfilled, not essentially changed.
I came across this quote as I was reading The Mythic Dimension: Comparative Mythology by Joseph Campbell and it made me think about the influence teachers (and parents) have in shaping the future thoughts of the children in our care.
On the same day I finished this book I also finished rereading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In it Scrooge is discussing the influence his former employer had over his workers stating,
"He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune"
Combined, the two quotes underscore the nature of teaching.
In my classroom I strive, every day and every moment, to make learning a joyful experience. That doesn't mean there are not challenges, but challenges should be met with a smile and an "I can do this!" attitude.
I am honored to support the academic, social and emotional development of my students. I may not always live up to my highest expectations but I can honestly say that I do my best to have them wake up in the morning and look forward to coming to school.
For me, "the happiness they give, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune".