The above two images appear at the beginning of Dan Tricarico's chapter titled, 'Compassion,' in his book The Zen Teacher. He then goes on to say:
"As teachers, we have ample opportunity to show compassion in every hour of every class of every day. More than that, we have a special, even sacred, obligation to express compassion. Not only do we enlighten, but we are also expected to uplift those around us and to ease their struggles."How do we do that? How do we not just show compassion, but uplift those around us and ease their struggles? That is potentially a heavy burden. We have some students that come to us with some serious baggage that we don't know anything about. And on top of that we can't even relate to a lot of the struggles that a lot of our students are "dealing" with.
These are skills that they don't explicitly teach us in our teacher training programs.
So I return to my question, how do we do that?
I don't think that it has to be complicated. In fact, I think that the answers are really quite simple. We have to remember that these are just kids that we are working with. We have to remember to exhibit patience and remain calm. We have to remember to never take things personally. We have to remember that we chose this profession. We have to remember to enjoy the moment. We have to remember to talk to kids, ask them questions, make connections with them. We have to remember to smile. And we have to remember to give high fives...give lots of high fives!