Sunday, December 2, 2012

Between a rock and a hard place?

From Evernote:

Between a rock and a hard place?

Earlier this year, I was privileged with the opportunity to be interviewed about Aboriginal Education by the MetoWe people, an interview which appeared in an article by the Kielburgers in newspapers across the country.  In the article I shared my story of a young woman, "Mary", who was on the way out, so to speak, unable to fit into the classroom environment and generally at war with any teacher who tried to work with her.  

I mention this because I want to relate something that was told to me when I received a gift a few years ago.  The story of the gift is the story of our students, in many ways.  It came from Eric Wong, an anti-racism officer with the First Nations Education Steering Committee.  He was speaking to me and several other Aboriginal teachers at an event I can't remember the details about.  

I don't remember his words but I hope I capture the sentiment.

We have no control of or even understanding of the lived experiences of our students.  Many of them come to us with their lifetimes of who knows what kinds of histories.  They come to us as rocks, hardened by good and bad, who like Mary, could as easily decide to throw a punch at you or storm out, or, like others I have known crawl under their desks or hide in the bathroom.  Or worse.

Rocks are breakable after all.

We aren't here to break them.

We are here to teach them, help them see their potential and let them know that they are valued.  

Have you ever seen below that hard outer shell of a rock?  Each one is different and  unique and spectacular.

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