I lost my temper today. I am not proud of it, and the image of the redden-face of my cornered victim haunts me. But there it is.
Today’s reflection cautions against being: “possessive, flaunting, and dominating.” Ever since I came to this school, three years ago, I have tried to emulate the virtue of which Derek Lin writes; to be “productive, action-oriented, and nurturing.”
When first transferred to this school, I ignored the letter my colleagues wrote asking that I be placed in another department, for the benefit of the students, recognizing that they knew nothing of my capabilities. Instead, I focused on productivity.
I tried to brush off the comment, by my then department head, that people over fifty are “useless”, choosing to do what I do best: offer nurturing support to the special needs children we work with daily.
And when a colleague from outside my department criticized the way we conducted ourselves in the Resource room, I reflected and took action to better our operation.
It was when that same teacher spoke harshly to a student in my care that I lost it. Storming, I confronted her. What business was it of hers, questioning our students? I demanded to know. My sense of righteousness led the tirade, and she was effectively reduced to a cower.
Way to go! my new boss exclaimed.
Didn’t see that coming, other friends confessed, undeniably impressed.
I was a momentary hero…..for some.
Whenever there is power over love cannot exist, the words of a former teacher echo in my heart. I demonstrated power over – there is no doubt. The more the woman cringed, the larger I grew, and in retrospect, it was unfair. I accused her of being unprofessional, but then, what was I?
Where was the compassion that nurtured a growing relationship? Where was the productivity in that moment of sheer rage?
My mystic virtue continues to be a work in progress.