My job in Special Education within a high school is challenging. There is a wide range of learning capabilities and levels, expectations and goals, what we accomodate, what we adapt and what we accept. My desire,as an educator is to peak a student's hope in what they have come to expect, maybe even what they have lost hope in, highlighting and encouraging any effort towards progress. Whether an improvement is made in an "n-th" degree or another grade level is achieved, the "n-th" degree towards more understanding is progress! The joy that comes on a student's face when he "gets something" after hours of hard work...priceless!
This last week, I experienced a student's frustration with me, telling me that "I couldn't handle the truth!"
"What is the truth?" I asked.
"That I am NEVER going to change, get better at this..."
Looking straight into his eyes, I explained that his truth for himself was not the same as my truth for him. With a different approach and rewording of some questions, the answers came forth. He never mentioned the words, "I can't. You do it," the rest of the day.
I am lacking in superior skill in the areas of algebra and some geometry, specifically figuring out slope intercept when it's presented in algebraic equations. I know it seems simple to others; there is a lot of plugging in and distributing. It just takes me a little longer to fit all the puzzle pieces together. When it clicks, aaaaah, a literal light bulb shines bright in my heart and I feel so brainy!
When conversing about my own "slowness" with another co-worker, they reacted with a not so encouraging reply:
"Oh, that is the simplest thing we do."
"Anybody can get that, you just plug in and count squares..."
"whaa whaaa whaaaaaaaa..." (said the teacher in Charlie Brown's class).
My light bulb flickered and dimmed a bit at that moment.
Maybe I can't handle the truth...
TRUTH. Absolute TRUTH.
It is either something we accept and fight for or perhaps something we think we do not deserve or somehow have been denied. Sometimes the Truth is hidden from us. Sometimes it is smack center in our heart and the thought of processing it overwhelms us. Always, the TRUTH sets us free. That is a promise from God. We gain freedom to plug in, distribute and count the blessings we've received, the wisdom we've gained through our own struggles and the desire to continue to be True to ourselves for all God wants us to be.
Some of us were not meant to be mathematicians.
Father God, the Great Teacher of wisdom and giver of Absolute Truth, I am grateful and humbled to receive Your instruction. So give me a calculator, and an erasure, some encouragement and all of Your Light. We'll figure "life's solutions" out together. When my "line on a graph" intercepts with Your "Divine Line" sent from Heaven, I become more than just a point. They form a cross. Truth be told, You are the giver of all wisdom, a TRUTH I am grateful to handle until my "class work" is complete. Amen.