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To Look at Any Thing

I have had a rare opportunity in life to be a teacher. The pinnacle was being a teacher at Stony Creek. I knew what it meant to be a teacher. I had several conversations today about what we share with each other. John Moffitt wrote this beautiful poem. I interpret part of the poem as being the need be present and share our stories. Teachers and hockey coaches can make a difference in children’s lives. I need to be vulnerable. Parker Palmer suggested teachers live at the most dangerous intersection of personal and private life. I will miss that aspect of the classroom. I got to be a teacher. I got to know what that meant, because I looked at it and lived it as fully. It brought peace to my life.

To look at any thing,

If you would know that thing,

You must look at it long:

To look at this green and say,

‘I have seen spring in these

Woods,’ will not do–you must

Be the thing you see:

You must be the dark snakes of

Stems and ferny plumes of leaves

You must enter in

To the small silences between

The leaves,

You must take your time

And touch the very peace

They issue from.

To Look at Any Thing

It was a busy day. I was alone with the students. Usually, I there is a parent, but today the schedule was unfilled. We were still productive and covered challenging material.

The Grade 7 class is building scenarios and predicting what if learned experience is used in new situations. The Grade 8 class is exploring differences between authority and power. The Grade 9 class is taking and defending positions on the Canadian youth criminal system. Like all good things, learning takes time.

John Moffitt’s poem speaks about a way we learn the world. We should savour it, not consume it.

To look at any thing,
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say,
‘I have seen spring in these
Woods,’ will not do—you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between the leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

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