While reading Leo Buscaglia's book, Living, Loving & Learning, I was able to reflect back on some of the experiences I have had in my life that have helped to make me the person I am today, and I was able to look into the future at what I would like to become. I was able to see how well I know myself and what I have to offer others. I was able to see the things I don't like about myself and determine some of the ways I can make myself better. This is some of what reflecting on my life and looking ahead while reading Buscaglia has taught me.
A. "You Cannot give to anybody what you do not have."
I went to Juab High School in the small town of Nephi, Utah. Like many other small town high schools, football coaches and P.E. teachers doubled as Algebra teachers and Science teachers. This allowed our school to make full use of the limited teachers and resources that it had. There was a lot of talented people that taught at Juab and some of them made great teachers and coaches, but some of them didn't. Sometimes it ended up that the football coach/algebra teacher cared a little more about tomorrow's football game than he did about ensuring his algebra students knew how to balance equations, and sometimes the P.E./Science teacher cared a little more about the teaching the tennis unit than she did about teaching the four life processes. Those teachers were also the ones that had to relearn the algebra and science lessons a few days before they taught them to us, because on paper they were qualified to do the job, but as far as knowing the material and having an interest in what they were trying to give to us, nothing was there. Have you ever tried to get someone excited about a subject that you knew nothing about? Have you ever had a math teacher that sent you across the hall to get help from someone else because he didn't understand what he was trying to teach you? It can be pretty hard sometimes to get excited about something if your teacher doesn't get excited about it. These teachers tried to give us something that they didn't have.
When I was in middle school I had another teacher that tried to give us what she didn't have. She was the health teacher, but because of some addictions to drugs, she really wasn't very healthy. It was sad, because she taught us from the book that certain drugs are addictive and we should take care of our bodies. We knew that she knew this information first hand because she was always on drugs. Many days she was so buzzed up that the teacher next door would come ask her to hold it down because she was yelling instead of speaking and didn't even know it. Other days she would fall asleep on her desk while we watched whatever we wanted to on TV. There was more than one time when the stapler ended up in the garbage when the bell rang and woke her up! We all learned how drugs can mess people up because we saw her every day, but I wonder how valuable she thought the lesson would be to us because it was something she obviously didn't believe in? "You cannot give to someone what you do not have yourself."
Buscaglia makes over and over the point that knowledge and love are both things that we can gain and gain, yet we are able to share them with others without ever depleting our own supply. Because as teachers we need to have the skills to teach our children to love themselves and to become the best they can be, I think it is so important that we dedicate the time that we have for living, to loving and learning. I am going to become the best Valerie that I can be, because then I can give others the knowledge and the love to become the best Johns, Kates and Ashleys that they can be.
B. Risk Taking
Buscaglia tells us the importance of being ourselves. For me, sometimes being myself means taking a risk. All of us have our own little views of what we think others...