"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Wednesday 9-30

Hey, J--

Thinking about calling, about vocation, about life in service to a larger goal.  About how much our children, our students, need the gift of listening.

We hurry them through their days.  We push and pull and prod them,  frightened that somehow, they won't measure up--and we will look bad.

We ignore their confiding stories, or brush them off with a nodding head and a wandering mind.

After awhile, they get the message: your experience is important, but keep it to yourself unless we want you to write about it in your literacy journal.   Or share it, in an appropriate way--no hesitating or searching for words here, please! clarity! speak louder!--during circle time.  During a staged 'sharing' time.

What happened to being present? What happened to standing on the playground and listening to stories?  What happened to hearing our children?

And where will they go if we continue to ignore them?

I don't know, J.  But it troubles me.  All the more because, even knowing all of that,  even while working to be present and to listen, I still fail to hear.

Grant me ears to listen, eyes to see, and a heart to care.  And energy, sustaining energy.

Because our kids' stories become our kids' lives.  Listening to them speak now will nourish them to speak up with their lives, later.