Archive for September, 2009

Ripples

September 24, 2009

A former student of mine (one of my all-time favorite students), who now teaches fifth grade, heard about my book. She wrote to tell me that she was going to share part of my book with her fifth graders. I felt I had to immediately warn her that many of my stories are R rated. However, she managed to find an excerpt at my publisher’s page — www.mainstreetrag.com — that is child friendly. 

Today I received in the mail a 10 X 12 manilla envelope that contained letters from her class, not only praising my writing (which was good to see) but also thanking me for teaching their teacher, whom they clearly adore. The latter was even more satisfying.

Teachers rarely get to know that they reached a student in a certain way, and even less often do they find out that their former students are reaching students of their own.I plan to write the class back, and I think I will save their letters to me forever.

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Six

September 8, 2009

Today my son turns six. Last night, before he went to sleep, he told his mom, “I don’t think there’s really a tooth fairy. I think darkness and light meet in the night and turn the tooth into money.”  All kids are born with imagination. I’m glad we haven’t killed his.

The first two years of his life, I was such a neurotic parent that my only goal was KEEP HIM ALIVE! DON”T LET HIM DIE. After he turned two, my goal was not to break his spirit, but rather keep him in love with life.  He seems happy, so now I guess I should extend my parental ambitions. I think my new goal is to keep his imagination alive.  So far so good.

At church Sunday, our new interim minister said something paricularly poignant, and tears welled in my eyes. Jed looked at me and studied me, the way I’ve studied him so many times. He looked to be trying to figure out what was going on in my mind. This made me aware that he is now a person–a thinking, wondering, imagining, analyzing person. I felt at once a joy in welcoming him to a thoughtful life, but also melancholy that his innocence is now vulnerable.

At any rate, I’m glad I’ve spent much good time with him these six years.

Dylan and Kohlberg

September 5, 2009

“To live outside the law you must be honest.”

                      –Bob Dylan

 

It seems to me Dylan’s succinct line captures the essence of Kohlberg’s highest level of moral development, but I’m going on what I vaguely remember about Kohlberg from an education course about fifteen years ago.