School starts this time of year. Teachers gear up, get their classrooms ready, and buoy up to meet the demands of their profession. And there are many! Hug a teacher for their responsibility and challenge is off the charts.
Among the challenges a teacher faces are the parents of the students. Parents want the best for their children and, hopefully, find the delicate balance between being overly involved (helicopter) parents or uninvolved (absentee) parents of their child.
Many years ago I came across a writing by Orville Glass who penned the following words as he sent his child out of the family nest into the world to be taught, seasoned, and prepared for the opportunities of a life well lived – hopefully!
“My son starts school tomorrow. It’s all going to be strange and new for him for a while. … This morning he is going to walk down the front steps, wave his hands, and start on the great adventure that probably will include wars and tragedy and sorrow. To live his life in the world he has to live in, will require faith and love and courage. So I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know. … He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, that all men are not true. Teach him that for every scoundrel, there is a hero, that for every crooked politician there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. … Teach him the wonders of books. Teach him that it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the bandwagon. Teach him to listen to all men, but to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and to take only the good that comes through. Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. … Teach him gently, world, but don’t coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.”
While re-reading this I could feel and understand the hopes and wishes that Mr. Glass had for his young son. I have been there – still have the pictures of the first day of school for our children. Had tears in my eyes. I am grateful for the many fine teachers that helped educate our children.
Parents and teachers have an awesome responsibility to nurture, guide, teach, and keep safe those in their care. May both rise to the occasion to bring forth all the talent and character potential of these precious children. And, may all of us support such efforts in every unique and caring way that we possess.
May we give our children/students the deep roots of stability they need to feel secure so that they may develop the wings to fly into their future with confidence and talents to help make this world a better place!
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates