Anosha, at school, six years old with so many rules to learn - indoor shoes, outdoor shoes; Grade 1 Swing Day, Not Grade 1 Swing Day. Front of the line, back of the line. The classroom air fills up with words. With words and directions. "Everyone line up now. Everyone sit down now." But words, for her, are like the wind, impossible to hold, hard to see. And so, because words just blow, I take pictures for her. Swing. Book. Chair. Indoor shoes. Outdoor shoes with stars on her toes. After recess, after the swings, wearing her indoor shoes, Anosha draws and sings her own private song, letting me in, just a little. "Draw eyes. Draw eyes. Draw a shirt. Draw a shirt. Draw pants. Draw pants. A triangle! A square! A house!" My walls fill up with her pictures, my heart with her song.
My days, as a teacher, without my own class, flit by. A little of this. A little of that. Too many meetings with adults, too few with children. But then, there are gifts like this - 30 uninterrupted minutes with Anosha - her wide-open eyes, her glowing skin, her small hand holding a marker, her little song, pictures emerging in front of my eyes. For me, there is no greater joy in teaching than learning from children - sitting beside them, watching them, listening to them, following their lead so that I can be let in. They are the best teachers of all.