Dear reader, 1939 US film The Wizard of Oz has been referenced in yesterday's post as well as today's. I've included the hyperlink, in the event that you would like to read more about the film.
One of the things that I do not enjoy about working with the students and families that I do is that I sometimes experience dependent-arising thoughts in some of the remarks made to those of us in the field of work. I have been trying to grow an attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to break the cycle of dependent-arising when these instances do happen. I know they will always happen. So far, this attitude I wish to grow is a seed I hold in my hand; sometimes, I think that I've sown it: yet, with a fresh remark, I find that it's still nestled in my hand.
For instance, our classroom is in an entirely different building in the district. A support staff team member who had first expressed delight at our coming (I can't wait to get my hands on them. I love those autistic kids) entered the room yesterday and expressed the desire to come and visit from time to time as, even though our students will keep their former support member (as planned by design), she still wished to visit because, well, that's my little quirk. I love kids with autism.
Kids with autism?
Children are, and will always continue to be, children. Plain and simple.
Autism? A part of the whole child. Please make no mistake: these children are not broken.
The quirk, if one could call it that, and I do so here only to parallel the semantics---the "quirk" should be that you love kids.
You might think that I am referencing our newest quirky friend when I referenced the Wicked Witch of the West in the title.
Don't be too certain of that, dear reader.
It may very well be me, dependent-arising.
So I'll think instead about the young, enthusiastic women who came into our classroom yesterday morning instead: our students leave the room for specials, such as music and art, and these ladies are the general education teachers with whom our students will work for these things. They wanted to know what they could do to help our students; they wanted to know things such as their birthdays and the spellings of their names, so that our students would be included in their rooms in tangible ways: names on the birthday charts, name tags on desks.
A gentle reminder to their classmates in that room: I'm coming, I'll see you soon.
And for that, I am grateful.
I'm finding, dear reader, that it can be found---even though we may have to shift our focus elsewhere---or perhaps, not even focus elsewhere; but rather, relinquish that focus to a gaze: allowing us to take in more than we had previously, allowing ourselves to be surprised at the goodness that we may find.
I love a good surprise, don't you?