Saturday, June 21, 2014

To Teach is to Learn

I taught high school seniors this year.

They also taught me.

Full of noise and energy all year long, these young women taught me the importance of humor and excitement.  They reminded me that to be fully human means to be fully yourself.

Not all of the noise from the seniors was screeching and hollering just for the fun of it.  Sometimes they were loud in other ways.  They were loud with compassion.  They were loud with their genuine concern for people.  They were loud with their many gifts and talents, enjoying the abilities God gave them by excelling in sports, academics and creativity.  From this I learned the importance of embracing my gifts as well as developing them.

At the beginning of the year I was concerned that teaching World Religions meant I would be bombarded with questions about the many religious traditions of our world.  I was right.  But I loved it.  Their thirst for knowledge increased my own and kept me open-minded.

As young women with barely 18 years of experience, they also carried with them a lot pain.  I saw heartache.  I held them as they cried.  I cried with them.  Embracing their hurt taught me to embrace my own, showing me the value of acknowledging life's trials.

Though they did not know it, the seniors did well to remind this teacher that she is still a student..  I will be forever grateful.

I love you Pomona Catholic Class of 2014!  There is wisdom in remaining learners for life, but know that you also have the ability to educate.