Saturday, March 14, 2009

Miracle in Room 16

An interesting thing happened mid-way through the day on Friday. At the end of a study group, all the students had filed out but two.

One of the two, a 6th grade girl, approached me and asked if she could talk to the other student, a boy. She has a history of alienating others, so I asked, "What do you want to talk to him about?"

"I want to apologize to him."

(Earlier in the week she had said some hurtful words. I was made aware of the exchange -- it went both ways -- but mostly I had told the boy involved to ignore the girl.)

I called the boy over and mediated the conversation. She apologized to him, and then, surprisingly, he apologized to her for being mean to her -- for the last year and a half! There was an awkward handshake, and he left.

"Who made you do that?" I asked the girl.

"No one," she replied. "I just wanted to do it." A few minutes later, she left too.

* * * *

Seems normal enough, but for this girl, this may have been one of the first times in her life that she had felt remorse and self-initiated an apology. In return, she won an apology, and perhaps laid the groundwork for a future friendship. (The boy too learned how to resolve a long standing conflict.)

This is why I teach. Some students are academically delayed, some are socially delayed. But if we as teachers persist in modeling good citizenship, and we foster it in our students, eventually miracles happen. Not always, but sometimes. And when they do, boy is it sweet.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao-tzu

What are you doing to foster the journey of another? or, Is there a first step in front of you? Be a miracle-worker! or Begin a journey.


  1. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." has always been one of my favourite 'thoughts of the day'. It has reminded me that I intended to have an inspiring thought on my wall in the newly decorated study and change it each week.
    I shall do that now - after all, a journey of a thousand miles...

  2. Beautiful! Great quote tossed in from the Tao.
    This Journey is the Destination, eh? :)

  3. Way to go Scriptor! "I shall do that now..."

    That's the spirit! (You could post a picture of your favorite saying weekly too. We could all piggy-back on your inspiration!)

  4. Eh? Your blog too has been influenced by the Tao.

    Wisdom is available for true seekers: across cultures, even across time.

  5. Excellent story Don! I bet they both grew in leaps and bounds that day! Thanks for sharing that story and for what you do. You are a special light in this world! Blessings, Lisa

  6. WOW!!! What a fantastic story.
    Such wisdom from a child is almost too lofty for adults, no?

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  7. CW2sMom and MMM&RS, Thanks for the comments. It's easy to let problems cloud over the triumphs, but as I reflected on the past week, this stood out as a quiet triumph for a couple of special kids. It's heartwarming and inspiring. (And gives us hope for kids.)

  8. "If we as teachers persist in modeling good citizenship..."

    This is a very good point to chew on. Something all teachers should stop to ponder every once in a while.