I used to just call it “The Mother Teresa Lesson.” For years, to prove a point – that no matter who we are, that no matter what we do, we’re all going to have haters – I’d tell my students the tale of Mother Teresa and how even she had people who didn’t like her. Near the end of her life, a couple of crazy documentary filmmakers portrayed her as “Hell’s Angel” and called her a publicity hound. I’ve never stopped using that preposterous story to lift me up when the haters are bringing me down. “If there are people who disapprove of Mother Teresa,” I remind myself, “who are you to think you’re going to be loved by all?” Originally, it was just a theory, but now there are numbers to prove it. I
What Should We Talk About?
My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.
It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”
I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.