Today when I was downtown for lunch, a woman stopped me on the street to ask for directions. From across the block she called to me and ran across the road to get the information (she was nowhere near where she wanted to be). She made no move to take out her earbuds, so I wasn’t sure how much of what I was saying got through to her.
There wasn’t much I could do to get her there other than (literally) point her in the right direction—it was up to her to walk the rest of the miles. About an hour later, I saw her heading back downtown, coming from the way I’d directed. I hope she made it to where she wanted to go, and I hope I helped her.
In a lot of ways, my experiences teaching have been very similar to orienting streetside wanderers; when I understand what my students need, and when they understand me in return, I can point them in the right direction—even if they’re nowhere close to where they want to be.
I’m hoping that this is true even for brief interactions, even when students might not seem to be listening.
I’m hoping this because yesterday “A.” switched out of my English class.
Please, let the amount of time I had with “A.” get him closer to where he wants to—and where he could—be.
This is the Stone Ground Story of Short-Lived Directions
(Want to know who “A.” is? Read this post: Wrong>Right)