Thursday is Poem in Your Pocket Day

Pulitzer Prize Poet:

The one I plan to use:

The Tao of Teaching (and Living)


What is our obligation to our students, to our schools, our state and federal governments during a time of such urgent and often irrational demands on our personal and professional time? We could work all day and all night and never be done, never get it just right. I have, for years, been greatly consoled by this one particular lesson from Lao Tzu'sTao Te Ching, especially the wisdom and permission given to me by the last two lines:

Fill your bowl to the brim

and it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife

and it will blunt.

Chase after money and security

and your heart will never unclench.

Care about people's approval

and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.

The only path to serenity.

(from the Tao Te Ching, by Lao-tzu Stephen Mitchell translation)

I worked long and long and then still harder to be the best teacher that I can be for them today. I can always be better but I could not have done more. Instead of punishing myself by declaring I am a failure, I look to the notion, so quietly spelled out here, that I can only "do my work, then step back." Then go home and try again to be the best I can be tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow again.


TAKS & STAAR Testing Continues ...

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