"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:7
My readings for the past two years have been mostly comprised of professional material... reading about reading and writing. I have missed ficiton. I have missed the empathetic feelings toward the breathing characters as they become my neighbors, the folks down the street, my close friends. Last fall break... I picked up a book titled Lila by Marilynne Robinson. I had read her Pultizer Prize book Gilead a few summers ago; as I tenderly lifted Lila from the stack of new fiction and read the inside flap, "... returns to the town of Gilead..." I knew what my next read would be. As I continued to read professional readings, Lila could only demand a small slice of my reading time.
Just finished Lila by Marilynne Robinson... This is not a book review! It is a tiny slither of a slice ~ reflection of my teaching philosophy inspired by the words from Rev. Ames and Dr. Hiam Ginot.
Towards the end of the redemptive story of Lila, Robinson writes... "the peace that passeth all human understanding." This line resonates within my spirit and soul.
As a teacher, guide, facilitator, leader, role model for children... I realize the immense responsibility I possess. Everyday, I hold precious impressionable minds and spirits in the palm of my hand. (I am reminded of this Hiam Ginot quote, my mom handed to me when I began my teaching career.)
How do I balance this heavy-laden but passionate postion of power and honor...
in the lifted line from Lila... "...the peace that passeth all human understanding..." I must rest with the peace that when I lay my head down on the pillow every night... each child's spirit who has crossed my path that day has been lifted by my words or my actions.
This is why I teach. This is my mission field. I teach reading, grammar, word skills, but more than that; I teach the folks who will be leaders in my community... doctors, nurses, lawyers, moms, dads, policemen, firemen, video game creators... the list could go on and on...
Living breathing small humans are growing up in a world foreign to me. Teaching them to think for themselves, to read deeply and critically for understanding, to take in what society hurls and reconcile this to their lives with logic and reasoning. They, too, must be able to lay their heads on their pillows at night with the same feeling that affords me, most nights, to rest and rise again knowing that... "the peace that passeth all human understanding..." will carry them through their lives with this same philosophy whatever the path of their lives.