Patience. It’s a word we would never bother looking up in the dictionary because we already understand its meaning. But sometimes a well-known word can leap to life with new meaning and application when we read its formal definition. So consider what Dictionary.com has to say about patience.
Patience: putting up with provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, or pain, with fortitude and calm and without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like. It is an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
Wow. Simply put, patience means not showing annoyance or anger with people or things that aren’t acting as we desire! From this definition we can deduce that we are very often…. not patient!
This definition leads me to believe that the practice of “patience” or “impatience” relies almost completely on the words that come out of our mouths and the body language that we exhibit (heavy sighs, eye-rolling, stomping, slamming doors) when we do not like what is being said or done.
Patience is required every day and in every way within any classroom full of youthful minds who will use their ingenuity to test your patience every day and in many ways. Any teacher who assumes that a room full of children will be eager to sit quietly and listen to the teacher teach, will be surprised by the rude awakening that children don’t work that way. Don’t go into teaching unless you’ve been blessed with the ability to patiently keep teaching, even when it appears that no one is listening. You will need to patiently guide the child to where he or she needs to be and find new and improved ways to maintain their attention, not to mention the ability to patiently re-teach.