Manataka® American Indian Council

 

 

 

 

 

INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHTS...

By Manataka Elder, Chaplain Fred D. Wilcoxson PhD, PC, BCCC

 

 

“We send our little Indian boys and girls to school, and when they come back talking English, they come back swearing. There is no swear word in the Indian languages, and I haven't yet learned to swear.” Gertrude S. Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa) - Yankton Sioux

 

School is now back in session. You can see a great gap between what often happens in our schools and what our dedicated and loving teachers want to happen. Much of what our little ones learn doesn’t come from the teachers or the school; it comes from the other children. If you contribute to your children’s vocabulary in a negative way… think about it. Help our youth grow up understanding moral and social values that edify rather than demean. Excerpt from Heart of a Teacher by Paula Fox



The child arrives like a mystery box...
with puzzle pieces inside
some of the pieces are broken or missing...
and others just seem to hide

But the HEART of a teacher can sort them out...
and help the child to see
the potential for greatness he has within...
a picture of what he can be

Her goal isn't just to teach knowledge...
by filling the box with more parts
it's putting the pieces together...
and creating a work of art

The process is painfully slow at times...
some need more help than others
each child is a work in progress...
with assorted shapes and colors

First she creates a classroom...
where the child can feel safe in school
where he never feels threatened or afraid to try...
and kindness is always the rule

She knows that a child
can achieve much more
when he feels secure inside
when he's valued and loved...
and believes in himself
...and he has a sense of pride

She models and teaches good character...
and respect for one another
how to focus on strengths...not weaknesses
and how to encourage each other

She gives the child the freedom he needs...
to make choices on his own
so he learns to become more responsible...
and is able to stand alone

He's taught to be strong and think for himself...
as his soul and spirit heal
and the puzzle that's taking shape inside...
has a much more positive feel

The child discovers the joy that comes...
from learning something new...
and his vision grows as he begins
to see all the things that he can do

A picture is formed as more pieces fit...
an image of the child within
with greater strength and confidence...
and a belief that he can win!

All because a hero was there...
in the HEART of a teacher who cared
enabling the child to become much more...
than he ever imagined...or dared

A teacher with a HEART for her children...
knows what teaching is all about
she may not have all the answers...
but on this...she has no doubt

When asked which subjects she loved to teach,
she answered this way and smiled...
"It's not the subjects that matter...
It's all about teaching the CHILD."

 

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3

 


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