"An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child." --- Carl Jung
I have been blessed with good teachers.... well, most of them. Cause we do know that sometimes you get one odd thing in the same bunch. They were good, brilliant. Drove home the lessons well with their teaching, books, homework. Learning from them was great.
But one stood out... a nice sweet simple petite lady who stood out not only for her brilliance but for the warmth injected in her teaching. The class wasn't just a roll call of names. She connected heart to heart. I often felt that it was almost like she was reading my mind every time she caught me looking at her when a subject was being discussed. "Okay, Ellen, what's on your mind?" And again when my mind strayed to something far away unrelated to the subject at hand. She'd ask "What's on your mind now?"
I like hearing those words from her. Nobody asked it the way she did. I felt that I mattered, that whatever it was I was having trouble with.... it's going to be alright somehow. She made me feel that I was someone, that I was not a weird odd nutty person thinking my thoughts about the universe... about people, good and bad... about life and its mysteries... and about the challenges of living in my tiny corner of the world. I was a person, not just a name. She saw me, she knew me, and understood me. She cared. She was all heart and the mind just followed close behind it.
I learned much more from her than the other dozen or so. She not only nourished my mind... but too my soul. God bless her.