A Note to Teacher

To all those teachers who wrote on my report card, “Ken does not work up to his potential”:

I respectfully disagree.

Actually I was trying to work up to my potential. I just wasn’t doing what you wanted me to do. So you thought I was:


Well, I was – when it came to succeeding at being a “straight A student”. But what’s that got to do with my potential? My potential is more than a collection of gold stars and perfect marks. It’s a spark of divine fire, burning at the very core of who I was born to be. It isn’t a catechism of outward behaviors and responses. Potential is the inward journey of discovery that ultimately reveals the true self.

Yes, I understand. You were trying to educate me. And personal discovery is not what education is about. Education is about conformity. About marching in step. About everyone having a No. 2 pencil to fill in those bubble forms. Education has the same answers for everyone. The teachers teach them. The students parrot them back. If I learn all the right answers, I am intelligent, open-minded. If I don’t, I am simply ignorant. Possibly rebellious.

Or maybe I am just not working up to my potential…

Deep down, I’ve always believed that truth is more than just the answers in the back of the book. For me, it transcends all those smug academic certainties. It is endlessly alluring, ever elusive, but ultimately – knowable. Still, you can’t just open up my empty brain and pour truth in. I’ve got to discover it for myself. On my own path, in my own time.

So I’ll admit, I tried to do things my own way. I didn’t always do what was expected. I didn’t always follow the instructions.

You knew all that. But you missed two very important points:

  1. My potential never had anything to do with your expectations.
  2. My truth never had anything to do with all those answers.

Thanks for letting me share my truth. 🙂


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6 responses to “A Note to Teacher

    • You are absolutely right, Melissa, on both counts. I have made the correction from “No. 3” to “No. 2”.

      After thinking about it, what I am remembering is that my parents made me use a No. 3 pencil because I pressed down so hard and erased so much that it made a mess. And teachers didn’t like messy papers…

  1. Being that I sucked at school, I can truly relate to this post, Ken. I also second what Melissa said about the greatest teacher, also. 😀 I have amazed myself over the last year, and it’s because I finally learned to turn the death ear to other people’s expectations of me. ” We have to discover our own potential, and give ourselves our own ‘gold stars and perfect marks.’ 😉 Great post, my friend. Oh, and btw, I’m loving the new look at Ken’s place. 🙂

    • Thanks, Deone. I have learned the hard way that trying to meet the expectations of others will kill a dream faster than anything else I know of. This post is part of my declaration that they will no longer rule my life.

      And I appreciate the kind words about the “new look”. I’m trying to spruce things up a bit around here. Thanks for noticing. 🙂

    • Thanks, spiritualhypster. I’d love that as well, since I think our spiritual journeys are similar. But I think we live too far apart. 🙂 Feel free to email me, though. Just click on the picture of me in the rocking chair and you’ll find my address.

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