Aren’t we all in the classroom? It may not be a sit-down at-a-desk classroom, lecture or an online study, but I’ve come to think of life as a classroom. If this is more than a nice cliché, then we are all in some sort of classroom – but only if we are willing to learn. And what we learn is entirely up to us.
A long time ago, I thought I knew just about everything, thinking when I grew older I would have mastered it all — emotions, knowledge, personal, social and business relationships. But the irony of life has clearly shown me that it’s just the opposite. As I age, I seem to know less and less. And so I reach out for wisdom in many places. My most recent find came in an ancient story from India:
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did without hesitation. The traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune; he knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime, but a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious — give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”
Apart from being figuratively in the classroom, I am also literally in the classroom. I am a schoolteacher and I’ve learned some of my greatest lessons in this environment, especially from student writing.
It was from these writings that the idea of this In the Classroom column was born. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could read the best crafted and well thought out ideas of students in Utah County? The Daily Herald agreed, and I am happy to present the first column of In the Classroom.