Friday, August 12, 2011

My Teacher

When I was six-years-old my health decided to take a nose dive for a couple of months. Between ear infections, strep throat, the flu and whatever else decided to show up, I managed to miss a couple of months of school. I was getting a little bored with all the staying in bed I had to do, so it was a nice change of pace when I finally was well enough to go back to the first grade.

My teacher welcomed me back by telling me that I was behind on the S.R.A. reading all the other children had started while I was away. I do not remember what the letters S-R-A stood for, but I most certainly remember what the lessons were like. I was handed the first card from the box and was told by my teacher that I had to read it. When I was done I had another thirty-nine cards or so to finish before I would be caught up with the rest of the class. She did not foresee that my actual catching up was possible and frankly I did not either.

In fact, I have to admit that I was just slightly stressed out when I realized I was this much behind. In response to this fear, I decided the best course of action to take was to spend about a minute and a half “reading” the card, turn it in and then I would “read” the next card. So, after “finishing” the first card, I turned it in—but that is when I was caught. My teacher informed me that I had not completed the test on the back of card. YIKES, I hadn’t actually read the card! How was I going to take a test on it? Needless to say, I was not able to answer one single question.

Panic arose in my body and I felt flush. My teacher was watching me at this point, so I could not actually go back and read the story. I guessed as well as I could, but considering I knew nothing of the material, I was not able to pull the proverbial magical rabbit out of my hat. I will never forget what happened next. My teacher declared that I would probably have to stay back and repeat the first grade again. I obviously had missed too much of the school year to be able to move on to the next level. Initially, I was horrified. I did not want to do-over a whole year. That simply seemed ludicrous to me.

I remember staring at my teacher for a minute or so and then something within me changed. I wasn’t going to take this sitting down. I allowed the ego-voice to run its course of enabling the fear to reside in my body, before I decided to spring into action. With the shift, I kicked the fear right on out the door. No one was going to hold me back a grade!

As the teacher still stood in front of me, I not only sprung into action in my mind, my physical body began to follow suit. I proceeded to jump up from my desk, walk over to my nemesis, the S.R.A. box, and proceeded to give it a piece of my mind. I did so by actually reading the first card. I obediently took the test afterwards and low and behold I aced it. My teacher seemed a little perplexed.

After completing the first card, my tension began to ease, for now I realized that I was smart. I placed it back in the box and pulled out the second card. I read it. I took the test and I aced it. I then pulled out the third, fourth, fifth and so on until I completed all the cards in one day. The teacher was clearly stumped by the change that had taken place in me. I could see it in her face and I could feel her confusion in her energetic body, as well. I admit I was slightly perturbed and to punish her I never did bare light on the situation. I did not tell her that I hadn’t read the first card the first time around. I was far too shy to admit any wrong doing and my anger came out by keeping me quiet. So, she stewed in her state of quandary for the remainder of the class time. Perhaps that was a little childish of me, and of course it was, but hey, I was only six after all. I would eventually forgive her and forgive myself for my own actions in this endeavor.

By the end of the day, she did eat her words and admitted that she had been mistaken. She said I clearly did not need to stay back a grade. Of course not, I thought, but I knew it was better to say nothing. So, I kept my mouth shut and kept my thoughts to myself.

Some might see the original behavior of this teacher as being unkind. She could have explained the assignment more thoroughly by telling me there would be a test. She could have been more warm and compassionate upon my return and she certainly could have kept her words to herself—but if any of those things had happened, the course of my life might have ended up differently. If she had not stirred my passion for knowledge, I might have actually had to be held back—and it is possible that I would not have gone on with my education as I had. I may not have earned my Master’s Degree or even my Bachelor’s Degree if it had not been for her. In fact, I might have stuck with the status quo and just stayed back, because that was expected of me.

What actually ended up happening, you see, is that my study habits that I learned from this experience did not end on that day. In response to those words, I would continue on this path of teaching myself and moving at my own pace as I had on this day of reckoning—so much so, that by the time I was in the third grade, I was already in an eighth grade reading book, sixth grade spelling book and fifth grade math book. I just kept going.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned from any teacher, throughout the many years of education I have had, was not something that came out of a book. It was not a quote from one of our forefathers. It was not a resolution to a math problem. Instead, it was an unkind remark. This one little moment in time would ignite the fire in me to move past the ordinary. It would help to shape the person I have become and I am moved beyond words for the inspiration I have had because of her.

This example shows how we all have a choice in life. We can choose to accept ego-driven falsehoods that are thrown our way or we can instead take a different route and see things from a Higher Perspective. We can elect to see the Divine in all things. Sometimes these so-called painful moments are actually omnipresent reminders to help guide us towards our own Spiritual Truth. That is what this teacher did for me—she helped me to recognize the Spiritual Truth that I love to learn. For that, I am forever grateful.

Thank you for reading and Namaste! (The Light in me recognizes the Light in you!

No comments:

Post a Comment