It’s funny how different my daughters are . One brushes her hair three/four times a day, loves to borrow all my lotions and potions, soak in bubble paths and spend hours choosing the perfect outfit. She is soft, self aware and very feminine. He older sister needs to reminded to cut her nails, shave, sometimes even wash her hair. She is a natural beauty but doesn’t care too much about clothes, would rather be comfortable.
Is this nature or nurture? Did I focus more on one’s prettiness than the other or are they just wired this way? One has a voracious appetite, the other eats like a bird. One knows how to play the charming game, can coyly say just the right thing to get what she needs; her sister is so concerned with telling the truth, she has no concept of conveniently leaving out facts for the sake of diplomacy.
As much as one is intensely curious and needs to know it all now, her relaxed sister is content to let things lie until the moment determines her need. One loves to play with babies and small children, always the first to help out and show her maternal and nurturing side. She is empathetic to a fault and loved by many friends. This comes from a drive inside her that needs the affection of others. Her independent sister likes the limelight to shine on her and at times lacks the empathy she needs.
Someone wise once told me that we never love one child more than another. It is just that some children are easier to love. In fact some people are easier to love. In my classroom I don’t have to try and treat all my students equally. I do. It is easy to like them all, truly I have come across very few that I have disliked. But having said that there are some students, just as there are some people, that shine. There is one girl who sits in a corner with a smile and a gaze that glows. She is a person that will glow through life. Easy to like, easy to teach , she is popular amongst both teachers and peers. Life will come much easier to her, just as it does to all people that are charismatic, smart and attractive. There is another student who is prickly. Many students are rubbed the wrong way by him. He is stubborn, arrogant, talkative, crude and often contrary. And yet. There is something gentle and brilliant and vulnerable about him. I can see through the bristly exterior to some thing deep inside. I know that it will take a special and patient person to find that core and appreciate it.
I realize now that the reason I love to teach is that I love people. I am too optimistic to be a misanthrope. I know that I will never reach some, there are people who walk out of my class and instantly forget what we did. But I do not consider that a failure. They were there for a time and if I did my job right they will remember most of it some of the time. And truthfully I am not being altruistic. I am not only there for them. I am there for me.
I wonder what kind of students my girls are?