Croskey’s Corner: Courage
Courage Works at my School
Courage works at my school. So does Cowardice, but that person is not who I want to write about. Courage is a great teacher, who tries new ideas when the old ones don’t seem to be working. Courage is afraid of change, but Courage knows that change is part of life. So, while Courage may not embrace change, Courage bravely takes it on as something to try to make the best of.
The other day, Courage had parent-teacher conferences. One parent was angry and aggressive because Courage had been working to teach the parent’s son to be more responsible in completing his schoolwork. The parent began the conference with accusations about Courage being too lenient and not having high standards. Courage did not give in or give up. Courage just kept listening and then helped the parent to see the half-truths the child was telling and the way he was misrepresenting what Courage was saying and doing in class. The parent left the conference with a new respect for Courage.
Courage has only been teaching at my school for a short time. The other day, the district leadership announced a Reduction in Force. This RIF means that a number of teachers will be laid off. Unfortunately, Courage is one with low seniority. But you have got to give Courage credit. Instead of taking the lazy way out and putting little effort into a job that will disappear in June, Courage continues to write exemplary lesson plans and to teach each day with passion and energy.
Courage is the mother of a one-year-old. The child never sleeps through the night. Consequently, Courage only gets about 4 hours of sleep per night, on a GOOD night. But does that stop Courage? Nope. That teacher is at school every day, on time, and ready to inspire the students. That is Courage!
Courage has a student who is part of a family that has experienced generational poverty. This student has a coat, but it is dirty and torn. Courage knows that the coats that were available after the December Coat Drive are all gone. Courage did not know where to turn. But instead of quitting, Courage went shopping and got this student a great new coat! The student really liked it! That’s Courage!
Our district has an operating levy which will be on the next ballot. Teachers have been asked to volunteer to help with the Levy Campaign. Courage is already too busy with the regular responsibilities of the job. But Courage knows that there is no better model of what is good about our District than a dedicated teacher. So, Courage volunteered to pass out education materials which can help to inform the voters. Courage also made a personal donation of $25 to the Levy Campaign Treasury. Courage is determined to do everything possible to win this election. Thank you, Courage.
Courage has been diagnosed with diabetes. It is controllable, but it is also scary and full of foreboding. What to expect? How bad will the discomfort be? What will I eat? All these questions are going through Courage’s mind. It is tempting to stay home and to “hide” from the disease. But Courage has not followed that path. Courage comes every day, despite the uncertainty and medical difficulties. Courage fights through!
Courage is afraid every day but still shows up. Courage wants to quit but doesn’t. Courage wants a break and wants to be impatient. But Courage has self-discipline enough to be patient when that doesn’t seem worth doing. Courage also has enough Faith to know that acting “as if” something were true when every indication is that it is NOT, can, nevertheless, MAKE it come true through sheer will and belief. Courage continues, then, because of Hope, but also out of Love. Courage has devoted students because they see the power Courage has to make the impossible happen.
Say, you look familiar. Aren’t YOU Courage? You work here, too, don’t you?
With appreciation, to Tom Romano, at Miami University, and J. Ruth Gendler.