Pearls need discomfort, right?

“Those that have survived such perils of the sea as typhoons, suffocating red tides, and attacks from predators are brought ashore and opened. if everything has gone well, the result is a lovely, lustrous and very valuable pearl.” Click image for source.

Yesterday after work I was typing up a commitment contract with our head teacher, Lynn, for one of our students. We had had a day. I remarked that it’s like that in Alternative – each day is ‘a day’ – and that is what makes our jobs more interesting – every day is different and exciting.

We joked about that for a while and then I said but seriously, even though they can be trying in the moment, it’s responding to the varied situations and the behaviours/needs of our kids that makes me a better teacher. It’s on the job professional development. I feel I learn so much each day about relationship, caring, learning. Lynn responded – better teacher? It makes me a better person.

Thought that pearl was worth showing in the light.


  • It’s the oysters, not the pearls, that are discomforted, and that may be an even better analogy for teachers living on the edges.

    (Do you know if the oyster meat is eaten once the pearl is removed? I am darkly amused by the idea that we throw away the part that’s useful to us–we’re all magpies.)
    .-= Michael Doyle´s last blog ..Up, up, and away =-.

    • Tracy says:

      I like that analogy, Michael. I often think about teachers as containers. We hold emotion – stress, nervousness, fear, happiness, sadness, glee – for our students in our rooms so that learning can happen. We hold the environment, atmosphere, so that they can ripen, mature, grow.

      I don’t know if the oyster meat is eaten… ugh, that image affects the analogy somewhat, doesn’t it :)

  • mike says:

    Hi Tracy….hope this finds you well and extremely well said and so true!!


    if you move carefully
    through the forest

    like the ones
    in the old stories

    who could cross
    a shimmering bed of dry leaves
    without a sound,

    you come
    to a place
    whose only task

    is to trouble you
    with tiny
    but frightening requests

    conceived out of nowhere
    but in this place
    beginning to lead everywhere.

    Requests to stop what
    you are doing right now,

    to stop what you
    are becoming
    while you do it,

    that can make
    or unmake
    a life,

    that have patiently
    waited for you,

    that have no right
    to go away.

    ~ David Whyte ~

    (Everything is Waiting for You)

    You ask and follow very deep questions……

    be well…mike

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