Saturday, December 1, 2018

Carolina Friends School, and the greatness within

to release the greatness within

greatness is within each of us
and can sometimes find its way out,
I sit with two colleagues and reminisce
about our history within our school,

one still lives a greatness
in the surety and passion of his belief in the learner,
the students who can make their way forward
with teachers as helper, as companion, as fellow travelers,
he believed in me as a teacher,
and that belief, and his example,
 helped me find the greatness within me,
no one in my near half-century of teaching at CFS 
has clerked a meeting so well as him,
to Quakers, a clerk is a leader from behind,
who allows and encourages all voices to contribute, 
who allows and encourages all hearts and heads to be open
to the revelation of truth from within,
to the revelation of truth from another’s take on it all,
who can find and assert the potential consensus within the group,
who can help us find it, too,

my other colleague
lives part of the truth of his own greatness through his saxophones,
through the music he lives and encourages
as a way to speak to a truth deeper, older than words,
he tells a story of transformation,
of two high schoolers who eldered him
to let the students in his class
share in the revelation of truth,
and he changed in his teaching 
and got further toward the greatness within,

I have been gifted throughout my decades of being an educator here
to find greatness around me in my colleagues, in my students,
and, when I can let it be, in myself,

what is most radical about our school
is that we trust and believe and love,
what is most heartening about CFS, our school,
is that person after person, with help,
finds and releases the greatness within.

by Henry H. Walker
November 30, ‘18

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