Today, I find the daily word prompt interesting for two reasons.
Firstly, it makes me think of the great Aretha Franklin, who passed away yesterday. She was a powerhouse, an all-round class act, with a fabulous voice to match. The world is greater for her presence in it, and sadder for her passing.
Secondly, and more locally, I think of my daughter’s school teacher, who this morning showed up at our weekly Saturday netball match. It’s a school-based team—with about half the girls from the same class, the remaining members from the other Year 3 classrooms—that competes in a local community association in an U9 category. The team knew she was coming along, and were excitedly awaiting her arrival. It seemed as though the sun broke through the ceiling when she walked inside the stadium. All the girls ran to meet and hug her. She gave enthusiastic grins to each of them, and cheered and encouraged them all. To top it off, we won the match.
This act from the teacher shows respect on many levels. It shows how much she respects her position as a teacher. A role within wider society that is terribly under-valued, and with many parents around the nation quick to blame all the woes of their children on teachers and the quality of education (rather than parenting itself), I can see how she respects her job. It also unassumingly conveys the level of respect the teacher has for the lives of her students, and those in the wider school community. It clearly shows how much the children respect her, although they would not yet be able to articulate it in so many words. And finally, it shows a deeper level of respect from the parents of the girls in the team towards the teacher. I can safely say, that as a collective of parents, we were already well aware of her commitment to the job and her active interest in the students. But for her to give freely of her own time to watch our children play a netball match brought a new depth to our respect for her, and a huge sense of gratitude, assured again that our children are in the hands of one who genuinely cares.
So, I say thank you to two great women, Aretha and Chelsea, for teaching and showing us respect.
Image courtesy of Australian Government: https://campaigns.health.gov.au/girlsmove/activity/netball