Monday, 7 July 2014

The gentlest of Corrections...Carlyn Ryklief

The Gentlest of Corrections

In 2004 Readers Digest published a short story by Mona Raynard called Beauty in Motion. A subheading read: She created her own reality and invited us to share in its enchantments.

Rona says “ I was not a pretty child, but in Mrs Cordova’s class I feltbeautiful.  She had a ritual I loved, in which she called us one by one, to dance across the room to her, while she offered the gentlest of corrections.

When it was my turn and I had her full attention, my arms seemed to float and my feet skim across the floor with glittering precision. (Thank goodness there was no mirror to show me how I really looked.)  Then I curtsied, my imagination transforming Mrs Cordova’s radiant smile into the faces of my wildly applauding fans.  I knew I had to be her favorite student….but that’s usually the way with gifted teachers.

My mother found her a pathetic figure. The white fur cuffs on MrsCordova’s best dress were torn, held in place with safety pin.  And just where had she studied ballet? Small town dance studio, most likely…

I’d no sooner acquired my first and only pair of pink satin pointe shoesthan Mother put them away in the attic for fear that dancing on toe withMrs Cordova would do permanent damage to my feet. I had dreamed of dancing and twirling on those pink satin shoes.  My ballet recital was just two days away and rather than attend in black little kid slippers, I stayed home pleading illness.

I never took another class from Mrs Cordova.”

May we as teachers too, create our own enchanting reality, expose our students’ beauty and intelligence and transform their lives with the gentlest of corrections.