Sometimes its simply the little things that define my day. As a sixth grade teacher, I’ve come to know that there’s never a day that goes by that my precious sixth graders don’t say or do something that either A). Makes me laugh, or B). Makes me say, huh? Their humor is priceless. Today, in random conversation, one of the little girls in my class offered some very valuable advice. Let me take you to that moment.
As I stood in front of my class, I proposed a question. I really wanted them to think and be sincere with their answers. I said, “Think about a challenging task that you’ve have to complete. I want you to take five minutes to write about it and tell me what the task was, what motivated you to accomplish it, and how you achieved it.” I could sense that about half of the kids truly understood what I was asking them to do. So, in an effort to better explain the assignment (and to be a good teacher), I attempted to offer up some practical examples that I’ve experienced (or in this case, will experience) in my own life. I told them about the time that I had to give a big speech in front of my high school classmates. They seemed to get that, but it wasn’t enough. So, I took it a step further. I told them about an upcoming challenge that I would be facing soon. (They are all aware of the mission trip to the Philippines this summer and I try to keep them up-to-date with any news about the trip and what I’ll be doing while I’m there.) I told them that the longest I’d ever been on an airplane was for about 4 hours. The flight to the Philippines is between 14 and 16 hours. I added a little humor from my last 4 hour flight from Texas about how I was so very sick the entire flight back and how I really wanted to be home! So, for me, flying in an airplane for 14-16 hours is a big challenge! I asked them how they thought I might overcome my slight fear of flying and from one of my bright eyed girls in the back of the room, this is the advice I received….
“I think the best thing you can do, since you’re gonna be in a plane so long, is to keep your body nutrished!”
She kind of caught me off guard and I almost corrected her (I guess the reading teacher instincts kicked in…) but I decided against it because it was then that I recognized the innocence of that moment and I had to simply had to smile and let it be. As a teacher, I love witnessing those instances when my students get so caught up in the moment that they hold nothing back in offering an answer or a solution. As this little girl shouted out today, she laid everything on the line for the sake of sharing her best advice…and I’m sure when it’s time to fly, I’ll take it!-Kindall