Slice of Life Story -Climbing the Subway Stairs

During my almost six years living in New York, I regularly travelled on the subway system. The experiences provided a rich vein of stories and recollections. I recall among my many trips, one particular occasion at Essex Street subway interchange. I was walking up the stairs when a little girl and her mother approached from the opposite direction.

As they descended, I noticed that the girl had her eyes tightly closed. Her mother held the girl’s right hand for support as they managed the steps. At first it appeared the child was sleep walking. Then it occurred to me that she had closed her eyes to experience the sensation of walking down the stairs unsighted. She was experimenting. The fact that she had her mother’s support gave her the confidence to take a step into the unknown. At that moment she became a risk taker- attempting something new and different.

This brief scene reminded me of the responsibility a teacher faces each time he or she enters a classroom. Supporting students to try new and different things, to become risk takers, to think, dream and above all succeed. It’s part of that journey towards becoming an independent, self directed learner.

Close your eyes for a moment and consider what is possible with the right amount of support. You and your students may take that vital step to discovering your true potential as learners.


  1. Hi Alan,
    I'm closing my eyes right now. I love the connections you make in your slice. Lovely.
    Okay I'm opening mine now to spell check.

  2. Thank you Bonnie. Sometimes it is in those small, yet significant moments that we are struck by a new understanding.It was a brief, but special moment.



Post a Comment

Popular With Other Visitors

Book Making With Our Youngest Writers

The Wonder of Wordplay

Launching Your Writing Program With Bold Intent in 2018

Learning How to 'Zoom In' When Writing

Helping Student Writers Find That Vital Spark of Inspiration