Thursday, September 6, 2007
back in the saddle again
This is my classroom. I teach theater to 350 kindergarten - 6th grade students every week in this room. This is one place in my life that I really feel like I make a difference.
Children come into my room everyday from all different places in this world. Some speak English. Some do not. Some have parents who love them and hold them and treat them as if they are precious gifts. Some do not. Some have homes to return to at the end of the day. Some do not. But in my room, they are all important and precious and capable.
This is where my best parenting skills become so important. I firmly encourage and I happily celebrate and I tie shoes and I listen and I praise and I scold and I feel the pain that they feel and I share the joy that they feel and - most importantly - I remind them that they are important in this world and what they do matter and what they say matters and how they feel matters.
And because of all of this, I know that what I do makes a difference in this world. Some people may ask "why do you bother to teach theater to little kids?" I say, "Because we have to."
The children think better because I teach them theater. They are kinder because of it. They see the world differently because of it. They are willing to take more risks because they believe that they can. They know that this whole small world is theirs. They know that their lives which stretch out before them can be wonderful.
They see each other in theater. They see their families in theater. They see themselves in theater. They see me in theater.
The children see the possibilities of this world in theater and that is why I have to teach theater to little kids.
I guess that it should then come as no surprise that I decided to ask to be released from my contract at the Children's Theater. How could I possibly jeopardize my teaching job when I see that I really do make a difference.