Friday, December 05, 2008


Here I sit, preparing to go to the annual city tree lighting ceremony where the choir kids will sing their cold little hearts out for 15 minutes or so in the requisite parade of city choirs. As often happens, there is a new custodian cleaning the choir room today. She's a nice older lady of Hispanic descent. She just came back to my office to ask me what the word "involvement" meant and how to pronounce it correctly. She showed me that she had seen the word on a poster in the classroom that connects different words to the various letters in the word "CHOIR". I explained what involvement meant as best I could - equating it to participation in the classroom activities. She seemed happy to understand, then asked me to make sure she was pronouncing the other words correctly - Cooperation, Harmony, Opportunity, Involvement, Responsibility. She even wrote the word - "involvement" - on a piece of paper that was destined for the trash. I wanted to say to her, "Lady, you 'get it.' You aren't just mechanically doing your job. You are truly involved in your environment and in taking responsible advantage of the opportunity to broaden the knowledge of your surroundings." That poster has been hanging in the choir room for two or three years now. She's the first person to acknowledge she has really seen it. We never know who we are teaching - or who is teaching us. I think that's kind of neat.

No comments:

Post a Comment