"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


Gifts and Demands

Hey J,

So.  I've had occasion, during the past few days, to think about gifts vs. demands.

How the gift of time spent with others,  and the gift of being willing to be present, to connect, are treasures.

How necessary it is to handle those gifts with respect and care.  How easily being demanding can dismantle a gift into a commodity.

Started me thinking more, about community in my classroom.  Sometimes, I think I treat the children as though their presence were demanded: as though they had no choice about being present, and so they had to be fully, completely, present--and to live up to my expectations of what that would look like.

 Interactions, community, on my terms.

It's pretty dreadful when that happens.  With a classroom or with a loved one.

I'm wondering what it would be like to steadily, gently, consistently remind myself that the gift which has been given to me--the treasure of being present with people whom I deeply care about--in the classroom, and out of it--is, in fact, a gift.

Would it change the texture of daily interactions? Would I ask more questions and pontificate less often? Would there be more joy, as a result?  The joy of giving, and receiving, gifts?

Perhaps I'll give myself the gift of finding out.

more, later.

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