Craftsmen


Craftsmen

This past year, Ms. Cora Boland’s (HS/MS Art) grandmother passed away. She was evidently an incredible woman, and prior to her death, she had written this beautiful poem for her grandchildren and shared it with them:

Grandchildren
One by one I mark each launch
Tiny ships, hull down and outward bound.
And well I know that I will not be there to set
the course or trim the sails.
But my timbers are in every hull and I
breathe them fair winds,
a good trek, and safe harbor in far distant
ports.

Ms. Boland was not only blessed to have a good grandmother who loved her, but a grandmother who could put that love into words for them to remember.

I have come back to this poem many times since it was first shown to me in October. It hits close to home as I think of my parents and grandparents, but it also hits close to work. Teachers are in the trades, also. Like the shipbuilder, we craft and construct, hoping to help build a life that will sail true, sail far, and sail successfully. We will not be there to “set the course or trim the sails,” but we strive to build strong ships, set up sound sailing plans, and launch our students with love and hope to their destinations.

Part of my work during the summer involves reflection, thinking about what is, what was, and what will be next year. I came across this question in my reading, one that could be asked by every teacher and paraprofessional here at Mountainburg:
           
What do I do for a living?

There are many different tasks and titles that could be used in response, but the answer I found in my reading is this: I build people.

That’s what teachers do. That is what schools do. We build people. We are craftsmen in human development.

I guess this is why teachers have summer break: to remind ourselves of this, that our “timbers are in every (student’s) hull” and we
breathe them fair winds,
a good trek, and safe harbor in far distant

ports.”

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