Velvet Hand

Velvet Hand

Dr Jim’s Points to Ponder: “With a Velvet Hand and a Hawk Eye”

It seems like in a blink of an eye another school year is coming to an end.  Our Monroe County students have come so far in so many ways and to a great extent their accomplishments are a gauge of the unwavering support of their parents and dedication of their teachers.  

In spite of the pressure of high stakes testing our teachers must also do a superb job of helping their students think critically, understand different methods of intellectual inquiry, appreciate the interconnectedness of knowledge, and develop a global outlook.  But, we know that helping them to learn in an academic sense is only one part of our responsibility as parents and teachers. 

John Donne said, “No man is an island.”  But in reality, we are all islands until someone starts to fill in the space between us.  Therefore, we must be resolute in our desire to help our students fill in the space between their islands, develop meaningful relationships with those around them, and become personally and morally strong.  

Henri Cartier-Bresson, the brilliant French photographer from the early 20th century, spoke of his special relationship to his photographic subjects.  If I paraphrase and substitute ‘teacher’ for photographer and ‘student’ for subject his words become the ideal description of the student/teacher relationship we must strive for.

“We are bound to arrive as “intruders.”  It is essential, therefore, to approach the student on tiptoe  . . . a velvet hand, a hawk eye – these we should all have.  The profession depends so much upon the relations the teacher establishes with the students he or she is teaching, that a false relationship, a wrong word or attitude, can ruin everything.”

To live the heartfelt, authentic life of a great teacher takes continual rejuvenation and commitment. To engage, inspire and love children with a “velvet hand and a hawk eye” means that the men and women who teach must truly understand the responsibility they have to foster genuinely positive relationships.  

I believe that teaching is the world’s most important and most satisfying profession.  Educators may not make high salaries but they make kids wonder, they make them question, they make a difference.  With the help and support of parents, and all citizens of our county and state, our teachers make an enormous difference in the lives of our young people.

As my campaign for Monroe County school board continues I extend my gratitude, my respect, and my deep admiration to the teachers and parents of Monroe County for their commitment to the children of the Fabulous Florida Keys.

 

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Posted on 06 May 2018, 15:56 - Category: Learning

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