Monday, December 16, 2013

Are You a Malcontent Teaching Children?

At the Gate

Once upon a time, A woman sat at the gate of her town to greet and interview all the travelers wishing to enter her village. She would greet the traveler with a gracious hello and ask one single question. From this answer she would be able to advise the traveler whether her town was the place for them to enter. One day a traveler passed by and sought entrance. The woman greeted the traveler warmly and asked, “Explain for me please what life was like in your previous town?” The traveler said, “I had no friends, the previous village was a hard place to live. The place was cold and lonely and there were many things about the village I didn’t like.” The traveler continued to describe a miserable place and was grateful just to leave it. The woman at the gate replied, “My friend, you will find the same type of place and people here. You may enter if you wish—the choice will be yours.” With that the traveler moved on—and thanked the woman for the warning.

The next day another traveler came by the gate and was asked the same question before entering. The traveler thought briefly and told the woman that his previous village was a hard place to leave. The traveler said, “I had many friends, the place was warm and inviting and there were many things about the village I liked.” The traveler continued to describe a wonderful place and was sad to leave but knew it was time to move on. The woman at the gate replied, “My friend, you will find the same type of place and people here. You may enter if you wish—the choice will be yours.

Reflection by Ken Willers
Do we create our own reality? Sometimes I think we do. Have you ever met people who are never happy? They seem to move from one complaint to the next or from one place to another yet they seem to bring their dissatisfaction with them. I hate to say it, but some of these malcontents are teaching our children.

You have probably worked side-by-side with them. You know, they are the colleagues who seem to always be complaining about the students, the parents, the curriculum and so on. Each year seems to be as dismal as the year before and what so regrettable about these malcontents is that it will never get better for them. So, what should the rest of us do?

All of us have faced dissatisfaction on our journey though life and our response to it, perhaps, is what determines the type of traveler or educator we will become. If we bring with us our ability to engage, improve and contribute wherever life leads us, we create bonds, friendships, and community. The same is true for the classroom and school environment. As long as we are willing to engage, improve and contribute to the school in which we find ourselves, I believe we will find contentment because we are actually creating it along the way.

Hey, now what we have met at the gate…lets enter and build a school within which our children will thrive. Together we will shape our Vision into our Reality.