Teaching Testimony

Such Gratification Makes A Woman A Happy One!

May 4, 2013 at 2:12am

      Some years ago, not that many, I was in charge of Literature and Grammar of the Middle School Section in a local school. I am a lover of literature! So, as a Lit lover, I try to make the reading part of the students’ lives, by making an exchange between the main character of a story with the reader. Well, there was this boy among the group who had been tagged as a rebel and bad student. He was in the 8th grade class, and the story being read at the time was called “The Kid Nobody Could Handle”, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. It dealt with this boy who was in school but did not fit in because of personal issues and tried to bother everyone around him, even harassing school property.

         As happens in most cases, the behavior of this unique character was a silent cry of help and need of attention. So in class, as always, the story was discussed, making some personal adaptations to the different situations mentioned. There was a time of reflection, and participation among the students was mandatory. The students were assessed in a written test the following day, in which personal narrativeand descriptive writing were observed, as well as grammatical mechanics.

        In the written evaluation,they were not asked to retell the story or to list details, since my tests have always been challenging with analytical views of the text and in finding the hidden literary elements among the numerous words and phrases that act as conspirators to a magical world of plots.  To my surprise, this student whose name will never be forgotten by me, wrote paragraph after paragraph of wonderful interpretations of the reading that he applied to his personal situation and was opening himself to me through that test.           

         Hurriedly, I went through the paper, ignoring all the mistakes and wrong usage of language and composition rules, spelling, and grammar. The message was clear: this boy had found an opportunity to open himsel fto me by means of that story. I was eagerly reading confessions he had never had the courage to confess to anybody else! The way he had identified himself with the main character of the story was amazing!

     By the time I was done with the reading, I felt overwhelmed by excitement, wanting to have my student in front of me to give him the hug of his life. Not only had he confessed being sorry for his rebellion, but was also promising to grant himself the opportunity of being different. I decided that the test did not need any grammatical or spelling corrections. I dare not stain such a pure work of art with my bloody pen and messy handwriting! For such sincerity in writing was truly a work of art!

     However, to make my supervisor happy, I decided to take away 2 points for all the mistakes that paper had, writing a proud 98% at the top of that paper. Done! I felt content after such a “literary moment”, and proud of my student as well.

     The following day, time for Literature class arrived and I entered the classroom as every morning at 8:45. As usual, after greetings and class chat,  I handed out the papers; some were received with happiness, others with awe. And alas! There was this cry of joy, this merry sound coming from the boy in mention. Suddenly he ran up to me and hugged me, saying, “Ms, you just gave me the best birthdaypresent in years! Today is my birthday and this 98% is the best gift I could ever get!”  

 

      Right after such an emotive moment for me, and exciting for the student and his classmates, there were applauses and handshakes and lots of smiles. For moments like this are best celebrated immediately.
 Exposure to a scenario such as the one described above is not easily expressed in words. Moments, experiences of the sort are deeply engraved in the heart of a person, especially if that person is a simple woman who smiles at the world.  
Why would such a woman smile at theworld? Simply because being surrounded by lovely creatures who were designed by a mastermind, with no flaw,  deserves no other behavior. This woman is a teacher, not by chance, not by coincidence, but by divine choice. I am such woman! I am happily and proudly living in a time in which smiles are taken for granted, but are necessary for those who are just beginning to grow. For a smile gives confidence, reflects trust, and is above all,  an act of love. As a teacher, such characteristic is the best God could have ever given to me, and I thank Him for making my heart a vessel of his grace. Amen.   

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