Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Chapter Four ~ Move and Be Moved Into Waves of Possibility

Near the end of the summer I drove my motorcycle one last time to the beach. As I felt the waves move me around I realized that as students (and adults) if we're not moving or being moved (internally) we become stagnant. If we're stagnant for too long we become infested with bacteria, algea and parasites. We become unhealthy and sick.

Sick and unhealthy thoughts lead to sick feelings which lead to sick choices and actions which create even more sick and unhealthy thoughts......leading to even sicker feelings and then choices and then thoughts.

We literally make ourselves sick and diseased.

One of my students thinks he is bad, and because he has no doubt about that, he doesn't expect much out of himself or hold himself to high standards. He doesn't expect to move or be moved. It's going to be an interesting year with him. Who will win, the one with complete faith, or the one with complete doubt?

These are drawings he made the first week of school.

Day 1 - I'm being eaten by sharks

Day 2 - I'm defeating a shark

Day 3 - I'm defeating 5 sharks

Day 4 - I'm defeating a giant dragon

Day ???? - He draws a picture of HIMSELF defeating the dragon

Now on that day I'll have done my job. I will have "won" because he sees himself as capable of winning. (Photo 1)

It doesn't matter how the world sees me; It matters how he sees himself in this world. Even if a statue were erected in my honor as being a great teacher, I am not a great teacher for him unless he sees the greatness in himself. Can I help him do that before I am gone and nothing more than a memory?

Yesterday morning I woke up to this news report as I accessed my email:

KABUL – A suicide bomber detonated his explosives as Afghanistan's deputy chief of intelligence visited a mosque east of Kabul on Wednesday, killing the Afghan official and 22 others.

Out of the 167,000 people across the world that will die today, 23 were blown to bits before I even woke up. And for what? An eye-for-an-eye?

Just as it takes a strong man to be a gentleman.....it takes a strong and more intelligent person to find a peaceful solution versus striking out and "punishing them for what they did".

Since I have 23 students in my homeroom I was determined to go to school yesterday and make them even more alive inside by exploding the appreciation of life and possibility inside of them, especially the possibility of evolving into bigger-brain adults capable of solving serious problems in more intelligent ways than trying to kill the people they have problems with. (Photo 2)

If we really appreciate the fact that we are alive today, we become much more willing to face our problems and fears and doubts, and replace them with solutions, courage and confidence. (Photo 3)

I praised and hugged students who were rising above their limitations, and singled out and hammered those that tried to give up and not try. At the end of the day I felt I had hammered one particular student a little too hard, breaking his spirit instead of his limitations. And I felt bad.

As I was leaving I noticed something he had written and left on his desk:

"My goal for this year is to get smarter and get a 5 on the FCAT. I know I could do this because my teacher is Mr. Stuart and he never gives up on me and he pushes me harder."

I think the hammer broke apart what was holding him back, and allowed the waves of possibility to enter him. I thank Emperor Trajan for being someone who could inspire and enlighten me on how to do this. (Photo 4)

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PHOTO DESCRIPTIONS
So I can remember and elaborate


Photo 1 -
I can't remember this emperor's name here on Palentine Hill in Ancient Rome. I do remember how he made all citizens, including senators, kneel before him and kiss his rings and feet.........He made others feel worthless and insignificant. He was murdered, and is insignificant and worthless to me as to how I can live my life to the fullest.

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Photo 2 -
Bella's highlight on the return trip home was going to be able to visit Mammoth Cave. We spent so much time playing in the same river Abe Lincoln did as a boy that when we got to Mammoth all the tours were sold out. I told Bella we'd get a hotel and come back in the morning. She just wanted to go home.

I went back and told them how this was the highlight of my daughter's trip......and they told me there had been "a last minute cancellation". My smile to them was as big as Bella's was holding the tickets.....Looking at her face, I see just how beautiful life and love is....and why it's worth giving your life for

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Photo 3 - Sofia at The Serpent Mound in southern Ohio. God bless her spirit. She would have fit right in with these highly spiritual people who lived thousands of years ago. I will do whatever it takes to protect and keep this alive inside of her. (Her Great Aunt, Sister Veronica, a nun in Ohio, 80+ years old and still going strong!)
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Photo 4 - This is a statue of Emperor Trajan in the Senate House. He greeted others by name and shook their hands and hugged them. He made them feel valuable and under him Rome experienced some of it's greatest accomplishments.

This statue was remarkably found in its original color and intact, except for the head, hands and feet which were made of different material.

He is gone, but he lives on in me, and I am more because of it.

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