Knowing our purpose

My cat sits. Gazing out the window into the dark. Filled with the purpose of his being. His job is clear. Sleep. Notice. Prowl. Sleep some more. Purr. Allow humans to adore him.

And here I sit. Gazing at the papers I need to look over. Thinking about the various child-centered and adult-oriented snafus of the day and wonder about my purpose that started out so clear at the beginning of the week. Adjusted for the day, readjusted by the hour. .Sitting here, I wonder, how true am I staying to my purpose. What is it that gets me up in the morning and requires me to bring it every day?

I have been given 31 kiddos for 180 days of their 9-year-old life.   In those 180 days. I want for them to grow a year as a reader, a writer, a scientist, a mathematician. But more importantly, I want them to know this is just one step along a long path. Not only toward their growth as a thinker but as a human. I want them to walk out with a little more aptitude in seeing one another. To grow as humans. That more than anything matters.

Thinking about the clear and simple need for a huge and constant doses of humanity, I can’t help but be thankful for the children’s literature we consume and discuss daily.

And with that, I’m sending out deep appreciation for the writers who fill our room with their beautiful words. To Kate DiCamillo and Katherine Applegate. You are our most recent mentors. We are grateful for the centering force you give our classroom.

Tomorrow is another day of unpredictable moments in a nine-year old life. All except that tomorrow we will read your words.

3 thoughts on “Knowing our purpose

  1. “Filled with the purpose of his being.” I absolutely love this line and the careful noticing and finding a way to capture in words the essence of what it is to be a cat. They are, far more than most creatures I think, filled with the purpose of their being and they never lose sight of what that purpose is. In my Methods courses, we spend far more time on big picture questions like purpose than on designing lessons plans or assignments because I believe that if we articulate a humane purpose and commit to it and remember regularly what that purpose is, we are far more likely to develop and choose learning paths for our students that honor them as human beings. It’s when we forget our capital P Purpose that we start doing silly stuff in the classroom that dishonors our students, ourselves, our discipline. Like you, I find that heavy doses of children’s literature in all of my classes, including those that aren’t actually for preservice teachers, helps me stay focused on my purpose. I am also grateful for the authors you mention!

  2. YES!
    “But more importantly, I want them to know this is just one step along a long path. Not only toward their growth as a thinker but as a human. I want them to walk out with a little more aptitude in seeing one another. To grow as humans. That more than anything matters.”
    I love that you always, always, always take us back to what really matters!
    BRAVO!

  3. Beautiful and powerful words from you. Strong emotion. Yes. it’s all about growing good humans. We are lucky to have amazing stories to support us in this process.

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