Think Grace, Act Grace, Teach Grace

IMG_2440Kelsey Connolly,
Wilsonville, OR.

“Think Grace, Act Grace, Teach Grace”

I have always been a learner at heart, but not necessarily an excellent student. In school, I learned best by looking at examples and modifying the results with my own knowledge, and that worked out very well for me… up until I left my little plastic West Linn bubble and moved to Eugene. Suddenly, race wasn’t something I read about in book. Racism was staring right back at me, and suddenly I didn’t feel brave… I felt meek. I felt like I wasn’t sure how to handle a community that didn’t look just like me. I wasn’t sure if handling it was even the right frame of mind… and I felt let down by my perfect little plastic West Linn bubble. All sorts of words were thrown around in the dorms, “colorblind” “tolerance” and “affirmative action.” None of these things felt right to me- it felt like perpetuating the same old ideals, “It’s not racist if we pretend it isn’t.” I had a professor at the end of the year say something that finally made the puzzle pieces fit together. She said that grace is something that needs to be taught, shown, and thought about. Grace pertains to every race, religion, stereotype, orientation, gender, and defining factor that makes up a person. Grace is never selfish or mean. “Grace meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us,” She said, “and that is the framework for movement in our communities. Teach, Think, Act, Believe, Breath Grace to everyone, and the grace will not only propel you forward, but also the people around you.” I think that is my ideal classroom- to find grace in all relationships, interactions, and plans for my students. That way, regardless of how they define themselves, they can count a teacher that defines herself through grace.


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