Saturday, April 4, 2009
What was the highlight of your week?
A fellow blogger drew a blank today for a topic, so she invited questions from her readers. My question to her was, "What was the highlight of your week?"
I've used a variation of this question for the last 30 years with friends and family. Usually, I ask, "What was the highlight of your day?" This question usually eliminates a shallow, glib reply, and instead gives birth to meaningful interaction. (So don't use this question is you're not interested in conversing.)
The question also is uplifting. It makes the person reflect on the best, the good, the upbeat, the affirming parts of life that are often overshadowed by the other stuff.
The question, once posed, is often thrown back-at-ya! That's okay too. It's a good question.
The highlight of my past week, amidst the hustle and bustle of end-of-quarter grading, was an unexpected parent comment.
In educating youth, my aim is to make a 30-year impact on some of them. That means, 30 years from now, they'll look back on our classroom co-experience and say, "That changed my life for the better. That was a watershed experience in my life. Thank you Mr. Evans, wherever you are."
Because I aim for such a response, I get a few. This week a woman was snapping pictures around campus. I engaged her in conversation, partly for security reasons, and partly out of curiosity.
In the course of our conversation, she realized that I had been her daughter's math teacher two years ago. Her daughter loved my class. She talked about it at dinner. "Mr. Evans made math fun, and he helped me get it."
This mom has two children. She also mentioned her son's name which sounded familiar. Since I teach Special Education, I don't have a lot of students. My sphere of student interaction is somewhat small. But for two years at the junior high, I taught a class in creative problem solving. After mentioning that, the mom said, "Did you teach the class where they fixed wooden school benches and stuff?"
"Yeah, that was me."
"He loved that class."
That class was designed to teach kids to become CPSrs for life. (Creative Problem Solvers for life.)
Two children, one grateful mom: the highlight of my week.