Just some thoughts:
This past week I was sitting in an Arby’s in Panama City Beach, Florida eating my sandwich, drinking my ice tea and yes, curly fries reading a book on the life of one time Detroit Tigers baseball player Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. Fidrych was a character, some even called him a Flake.
For some reason in reading about his life it reminded me of a kid I once had in class during my teaching and coaching years. Funny how years later (or is it) one often thinks back and remembers certain people, certain kids.
I once had this kid in class. He was a character. It was not very long into the class that I could tell some things were gonna have to change. He was always talking, bothering everyone around him and just in general interrupting the one (me) trying to teach a class. One day after class I ask to talk with him. I told him, “You’re making my life as a teacher in this class less than desirable, in fact you are about to make it miserable. And if you are making life miserable for me, more than likely I will make life miserable for you. Do you get me?” He smiled and nodded.
So I said to him, “How about if we do this, say two or three mornings a week how about if I give you say the first 3-4 minutes of the class. You can tell your jokes, do you stick or just whatever you feel like you need to do. I will give you that time, I will begin the class by yielding to you for those few minutes. You can give your thoughts on sports, current events, the subjects we are talking about, whatever. After those minutes I give you the rest of the class will be mine.” To which he agreed. In his words, “Sounds like a deal Mr. A.”
I will never forget this one morning. I took role and then as I would do on his 3-4 minute mornings I said, “And now I yield to Mr.” To be honest with you as time went on I kinda looked forward to what he would have to say.
On this morning he got up from his desk, walked to the front of the class and held up a picture. This picture was of his family pet dog. That morning he told us that the previous day their family’s pet dog had died. It had been their family pet for all the years of his and the life of his sister. “We’ve never known a day without that dog. There has never been a morning when I left for school that I didn’t scratch his head.” As he point to the class, he then said something I will never forget. He then said:
“Someday everyone of you in here are gonna lose
something you’ve come to know and love and it’s gonna hurt.”
With that he sat down. You could have heard a pen drop.
You know sometimes on a given day a pupil can say something more profound than their teacher.
As one of my old high school teacher’s once said after sharing something regarding the two of us. “We both learned from each other.”
You know that may be the best one could hope for in education, learning from each other.
February 12, 2019
Posted March 29, 2019