Peace, one and all…
As I was teaching my classes this morning, I was struck by the extent to which teaching is an act of patience. Or, to put it another way, teaching is almost a form of patience. When planning my lessons, I must always ensure that I cater for all my students: I must be patient in other words. When teaching, I must take great care to ensure that everyone is able to understand me clearly. This means that I must use different ways to describe the same word, concept or issue. It also means that I must always be ready to clarify myself: what I am really trying to say and why am I saying it?
Moreover, as I am learning more recently, the art of patience in education also means being patient with myself and my own limitations. That is, I must realise that because I do not understand all things (Allah! I realise this very clearly), I cannot explain everything all at once. In other words, I should be patient in the face of adversity when teaching. Last week, for example, I had a text-based session all planned out but because of the idiosyncracies of the photocopier (and myself in operating it), my handouts were utterly confused. Perhaps, then, patience refers also to planning and then to coping with the difficulties of the teaching experience itself.
I guess, then, I’m really saying that teachers should ‘tie their camels’ and then trust in God! That God-given gift of patience is also a cause for deep, heartfelt gratitude.
Praise be to God, Who has placed lessons for us in all things.