MY PERFECT LESSON – MY MASTERPIECE
Have you accomplished something that you knew you REALLY got it right? It was as close to perfect as possible? I call them masterpieces.
Masterpiece is defined in the dictionary as “a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship.”
To me a masterpiece is more than that, it is something you accomplished and when you think about it you experience the deep satisfaction and sense of pride you had when you created it. And you have a clarity of the details of that creation, no matter how long ago.
MY PERFECT LESSON — A TRUE MASTERPIECE
I always loved when my students (and daughters) had a passion, a serenity and a complete focus on something they were creating; that was, and is very special to me.
On January 17, 1969, I created a masterpiece — my perfect lesson. I recall it as if it happened yesterday. It was a cold, wintry day in Brooklyn. Dark clouds crossed the sky as cold winds pushed against the classroom windows. There was an excitement generated by the anticipation of a soon-to-arrive heavy snowfall. I turned off the lights and put on “Winter” from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” The serene blue lighting from the fish tank’s display permeated the classroom
I asked my fifth-graders to observe the movement and shapes of the clouds racing across the sky, to observe the multicolored fish in the aquarium and to “feel” the trees blowing in the wind. I then told them for the next 30 minutes they were no longer fifth grade students in Public School (P.S.) 289. They were to think of themselves as writers, great writers. I insisted on everyone being silent and asked them to reflect in their own ways, and in their own personal space, on what the word peace means to them.
Many left their seats and found a comfortable place in the room; I still see Bruce sitting with his back against the clothes closet; some sat near the soft, blue glow of the aquarium, watching goldfish serenely swimming in endless patterns. Every one of my 32 students became TOTALLY involved in that activity — EVERYONE became a writer!
I sat at my desk observing my 32 writers, and thought to myself, “I LOVE THIS!”
After several minutes, they began writing; no one spoke or interrupted anyone’s creative mood. There was a special feeling in the class, an awareness that each individual was in touch with deeply personal truths, emotions and experiences. The tone and flow of creation lasted for one hour, not the planned 30 minutes; my class did not want to change the mood. Finally, at three o’clock, they serenely brought me their creations and quietly left the room, still in a pensive, thoughtful frame of mind.
I stayed in school late that day and read their essays. Tears flowed as the beauty and feeling of each child’s creation touched me deeply. EVERY child wrote something that met or went beyond the expectations I had for them. The warmth, sincerity and thoughtfulness of the essays reflected each student’s truths and feelings about peace.
Here are some of their thoughts.
… the feeling of running through a sheet of grass on a hot summers day … a child without a mother to love and finally finding someone who will love and protect her as long as she lives … kittens sleeping softly in a box of softness … sitting and writing little poems … to give and not receive … calmness, tranquility, love and beauty … thinking of being on a stage doing ballet … being under a tree watching the sun waving.
When I deliver a Foundations of Brilliance consultation to help my client determine the educational or career path that is best for them, one of my favorite moments is when they share their masterpiece(s) with me. That often becomes a very special moment for them (and me). And the answer to that question is very often a major clue to help them determine the path that is best for them.
I would love to help you, or someone you know, find your masterpiece(s); as well as help you understand what you must know about yourself so you can truly create them and determine the career that is right for you or someone you know.
Did you think of a masterpiece you created as you were reading this essay? If so, I would love to hear or read about it.
With much appreciation,