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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Friday, October 23, 2009

Le Fou Rire d'une Ballerine écolière

(The Giggles of a Schoolgirl Ballerina)

I went to Sofia's ballet and tap practices yesterday (her mother has taken over payments). As we both sat there watching this beautiful little girl we created out of love.....beauty and love found its way from my worn-out heart to my whimsical head:

We should strive to develop our inner beauty, not to attract another or convince the world of our beauty, but to convince the world of its own.

The beauty of watching children at play is seeing spirit at play. As adults we need to ask ourselves, "Are our own spirits at play?"

We must find our own music, or at least be convinced that we DO have music to play. And it's not what we think the world is telling us we should be playing. It's playfully listening to our own internal rhythms and letting them play within.......to the right people and the ones who need it, our music will sound like a symphony.....and it will be beautiful.

Every moment deserves to be appreciated.....felt.....with 100% of yourself dedicated and committed to this moment.

There's more (small notepad full that Sofia's mom gave me with a grin after watching me fill up both sides of a scrap piece of paper)....but I have to get back to recording and analyzing student data for today's lesson plans. I know it's an insane pace for an already overwhelmed teacher to put themselves through, but for what it's doing to the minds and spirits of these students it's worth it.

The reading class has gone from 4 A's and 14 Failures on the first test to 20 A's and 1 Failure on the latest (and this student has gone from a 23% to a 53%).

Math class has seen an 18% growth rate in average student performance and science, those poor kids in science.......they are going through such an assault on their brains having to demonstrate true understanding and ability that EVERY single one has had their grades drop to F's.........and are now just beginning to come out of this temporary failure.....but much smarter and with hearts beating with deeper beliefs in themselves than they ever had to have.

(It's easy to believe you're smart when you're getting A's.....Can you have the courage to believe in yourself when you're failing?)

Why anyone wants to be in my class I really don't know. It is a lot of fun, but it's brutal. You CAN grow bigger than your obstacles, and by God, Buddha, Allah and YOURSELF, you WILL!

***By the way, Sofia told me yesterday morning that parents were allowed to watch that afternoon's practice and asked me to come. I told her I had a full afternoon scheduled but I would move things around so I could make the time to be there. She said, "I like when you make the time Daddy."

Life is not confusing, just difficult. What's important is making the time for what's important.

Had I not done this I wouldn't have had this experience that led to these thoughts and feelings.

But how do you find the time to make time when life is already full and you're already exhausted? You can't always keep adding one more thing.

Yes, but these are all thoughts of what you can't do. Replace them with thoughts of what you CAN do. You CAN quiet yourself and get rid of pointless thoughts and emotions like stress, worry, doubt, fear and how tired you are. It doesn't matter if they're all true, it's not helping by focusing and hanging onto them.........and this "truth" can be only temporary by creating a new truth for yourself.

I hadn't gone to bed before 4 the past two mornings. I was so truly tired that I started to fall asleep within 5 minutes of watching her class warm up. I emptied my head of thoughts of how tired I was and replaced them with appreciation of seeing the inner beauty radiating out from my daughter.

Before I knew it I was so re-energized at Sofia's practice that I was feeling thoughts that my head was telling me, "Write that down!"

(I do the same thing at school during breaks by visiting other classes (like Mrs. Iiames, Sofia's 1st grade teacher last year, and her neighbor Ms. Pollard.) Sometimes I just stand outside their doors and let the love and playful spirits I see radiating from their classes come into me.)

To other parents I must have looked as if I had an abundance of energy.....which I guess I did after spending 2-3 minutes focusing on the beauty right in front of me v the tiredness I felt physically. My spirit had taken over.....proving that physical beauty and physical strength is nothing compared to who we really are on the deeper sub-atomic levels of our thoughts and emotions.......

This is our consciousness entering the dense matter of our cells and molecules - or what we call spirit.

And spirit is what allows us to find the love to believe more and the energy to be more.........

And to hear your little girl giggle in ballet class.

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