The boys were a little grumpy at me at first. I told them,”The sooner we get through this the sooner you can all go back to your bed rolls or whatever you want. “ It was five boys and myself. And to promote trust I participated too. My teachers hadn’t when I was in the Academy but I wasn’t most teachers. Trust wasn’t demanded, it was earned. I wanted them to trust I knew what I was doing, so I had to trust them. And trusting people wasn’t my strong suit.
We were on the trust fall first. Each team taking turns during the day to go through each obstacle together. I went first and I will tell say that the boys didn’t fail me. Heights is not my favorite, but I’ve never let it stop me from anything. So climbing up to the stand where we’d fall from had been the first hurdle I had to get through. Oddly enough, Matt whispered in my ear, “You can do this.” as if he’d known me my whole life. I did do it. I trusted them, and they trusted the rest of us. It was rather anti-climatic if you think about it. All these boys who didn’t trust anyone any father than I could throw them, and they believed that they could trust each other. I didn’t think I was that good of a teacher, but I’d take the ease of this exercise with a grain of salt.
The following two courses proved to be pretty much the same thing. I went first, then the boys each took their turn. We had a few mishaps where one of the boys didn’t quite listen so well, and he ran into a tree stump and rammed his precious parts into the stump doubling over in pain. Everyone apologized profusely, but I interjected afterwards. “You need to listen better.” That was when my smart boy, engineer type, Jerry proclaimed he had trouble with his left from his right. That would have been something we should have shared with the rest of the class in the beginning.
The next exercise went much better when everyone knew everyone’s weakness. We were done by lunch, and the five boys were playing a game of hide and seek in the woods. While I sit here and write this and digest what I learned today.
Maybe I should give this teaching thing a solid go. Clearly I had something to offer. I mean if Jace could teach my theories to a bunch of kids, shouldn’t I be able to do it better? Not that I wanted to take it away from Jace, but I was already teaching my little dragon things I didn’t learn until I was 10 or 11 years old. I wasn’t fast tracking the dragon, I was going with his strengths. Could I mentor an older child? Be someone they looked up to? If Matt was any indication I’d have to say yes to that.
There is yelling off in the distance. I need to go check what it is. All my boys are running in that direction as well.