In our Parents Anonymous Group we parents often wondered aloud how our children would ever survive in the real world: Will they be able to manage money? Will they learn to cook and clean their house? Will they manage to hold down a job? Will they get along well with others? Will they be able to get out of bed on their own? Will they ever learn to keep their room clean? The questions are truly endless when parents are mired in the day-to-day chaos that sometimes seems hopeless.
Last week Katie came to visit while on vacation from her first year of teaching. Like any mother, I looked instinctively for the faintest signs of maturity that might quiet those lingering doubts. (This is normal for all parents!) We quickly settled into a familiar routine of catching up on the latest news, then sharing a meal and later on getting ready for bed.
Before turning in, Katie came to me carrying a small black binder to show me some things. She explained that these documents were end of the year evaluations by her peers, supervisors and students. She handed me the notebook and went to brush her teeth. Flipping the binder open I began to read…
Peers and Supervisors say Katie:
Knows her material inside out…
Speaks clearly and orderly…
Organizes the knowledge and material…
Analyzes material for teaching and learning…
Presents material and knowledge well…
Engages students and encourages in the process…
I was impressed with the expanded observations of Katie’s knowledge, methods and results but I was really blown away by the hand written evaluations from students, which, to me, carry more weight.
Katie’s Students said:
“She is a total sweetheart! Great teacher; I improved 150% with [unreadable]. She [is] also very smart and tells us cool facts. Love her!”
“Enjoyed this class and learned a lot from this instructor.”
“I learned a lot in this class. She was very nice and helpful. Thank you!”
“I love Katie!!! She is a great instructor as well as mentor. She knows a lot about the subject and she has taught me a lot of great things!”
“Katie, I want to thank you for being such a breath of fresh air. Your compassion and grace are contagious. Thank you for allowing each of us to be individuals and allowing time to explore the new materials and processes. I must say, you are one in a million….”
“Katie is such a great teacher. She is so passionate about [the subject] and her excitement spreads like wildfire. This is truly an enjoyable class.”
“Very passionate & enthusiastic – makes it fun to [study] at 8 am.”
“She is more caring about her students improving than any teacher I’ve had. Her ability to coach her students is above the norm.”
Love her? Nice and helpful? Compassion and grace? Fun at 8 a.m? Coach above the norm? This certainly was not the Katie I knew! *sigh* She was evidently paying attention all those years, though, and I could finally put to rest any concerns about her survival in the real world.
As I closed the notebook I told Katie I was impressed by the students many comments. She pointed out the different students and how wonderful they made her feel so on some level, Katie might have had concerns of her own.
Katie laughed, “Mom, I’m still pretty messy with my work areas; I always close the door to my office so nobody can see it because it is so bad.”
Well, she still has time to improve… I laugh to myself remembering Chelsey and I argued over whose turn it was to wake Katie up and now she is teaching by 8:00 a.m. That is an improvement!
I read once that most of the things we worry about never happen in real life and what does happen is much smaller on scale than it is in our minds.
When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened. ~ Winston Churchill
Worry is the only insupportable misfortune of life. ~ Henry Saint John
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~ Mark Twain
Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream. ~ Lao Tzu
Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is to small to be made into a burden. ~ Corrie ten Boom
Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which will never happen. ~ James Russel Lowell
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. ~ Corrie Ten Boom
When my daughters talk about their worries I tell them that worrying takes a lot of energy, so much so that I decided many years ago to limit worry to about 20 minutes per week. It works for me and I doubt I’ve experienced more calamities for it.
My grandmother once told me that worry is what made her ugly; she was only wrinkled but I figured— why take a chance.
PHOTO CREDIT: Microsoft Office, Bing