We often hear of bad weather, but in reality, no weather is bad.
It is all delightful, though in different ways.
Some weather may be bad for farmers or crops, but for man all kinds are good.
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating.
As Ruskin says, "There is really no such thing as bad weather,
only different kinds of good weather."
~John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894
As an undergrad, I had a professor make me memorize the following statement. I wouldn't understand what it truly meant until years later.
|A copy of this still hangs in my classroom|
Weather forecast for tonight: dark. ~George CarlinI once knew a teacher who was in their first year and he was beyond stressed. The year was coming to an end and we were all beginning to feel the end of year stress. Kids were talking and upset with this teacher because he wasn't listening to them and they didn't like his class. He was consumed with "covering the material". He had to get through everything.
As the warm May morning was creeping towards lunch, he bent over in class to pick up papers and split his pants. Now if that's not a teachable moment, I don't know what is. That same day, around the same time, I was standing in line at the cafeteria and a student "accidentally" dropped an entire gallon container of ranch dressing down the front of my pants and onto my dress shoes. The girl looked mortified. I turned to the kid and smiled and said, "Guess I'll have to use Italian now".
I saw that student of mine later in the day. At this point, the smell of ranch was pretty strong in my room and when the kid entered, I could tell she was going to be upset. I smiled at her and made a joke about how I will never eat salad the same way again (or some version of that). She laughed. And then she cried - in the way only a twelve-year-old can. I pulled her aside and apologized for joking about it and that it was not a big deal at all, that I'd be able to get a new pair of pants. She replied that it wasn't me, it was another teacher. This teacher had split his pants in front of the entire class and when the kids laughed he yelled at them and made them sit quietly and told them if he heard another sound they would all get detention. She was terrified of getting a detention and wasn't sure what was going to happen. At that moment, that Ginott quote came back to me...I decided I would always try to be the "Storm" that my kids needed.
Rainbows apologize for angry skies. ~Sylvia VoirolI spoke to that teacher after school. I told him I heard what had happened. He went on about how embarrassing it was and he didn't have time for this nonsense with everything he still had to teach and I shared with him another little "teaching philosophy" that I held dear ( I was not sure who had said it at the time, but later learned it was a Maya Angelou reference). I told him, "They will not remember everything you taught them, but they will always remember how you made them feel". He thanked me and told me he needed to get ready for tomorrow's lesson and didn't have time for this. He even asked me what that smell was. When I told him my story, he commented that he couldn't believe that kid wasn't in trouble.
At that moment I realized that you can't change the weather...outside of your classroom. But you absolutely can MAKE the weather in your classroom.
|I like to think this is what it's like to walk out of my room at the end of the year.|