One of the things I love about substitute teaching is what I learn from being in another teacher's classroom.
Today it was this:
The trees ahead and the bushes beside you Are not lost.
Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows Where you are.
You must let it find you.
An old Native American elder story rendered into modern English by David Wagoner
I stood at the end of the day while the Grade Five class recited this for me. It gave me chills. They spoke it with such resolve. It was so powerful I asked them to recite it for me again. They did.
If you are worried about the future generation?
They are going to be just fine.