Recently I heard the term ‘heroically patient’. I am lucky enough to witness this characteristic every day. Many situations come to mind that require teachers to be heroically patient. Whether it is with the little one who quite literally cannot sit still, or with the boy who blurts out the most puzzling, bizarre statements in front of his peers, or with the one who hides under the table and refuses to speak, patience is required.
Kids come from all sorts of backgrounds and life experiences. Sometimes we know their history and sometimes we can only presume. Regardless, educators most certainly require a heroic amount of patience. If only our role was to educate our students. If only life, emotion and human frailty didn’t get in the way. If only.
Of course, most of us didn’t get into education to teach curriculum. We teach kids. And those life experiences, those roller-coasters of emotion, those tears, that laughter, that energy, all make our job worthwhile (and certainly never dull). Some days I draw on a little patience and some days I dig deep for a whole lot more. But when I receive a hug from the child who was previously under the table refusing to talk, I know why I do the job I do.
“Be patient with those who are learning, for the more patient you are the more they will learn.” Anonymous