Inspired by Jo-Anne Fox and the #YourEduStory blogging challenge, I was confronted this morning by a topic intimidating to a humble scribbler like me; I’m more familiar with topics like Family Math Night, t-ball, and my favorite teacher.
The prompt read: “Inspired by MLK: How will you make the world a better place?”
And after I caught my breath and sat down to write, two words came to mind that answer that daunting question: “…not alone.”
I am proud to be an educator, and even in my role as principal see myself in terms of being a teacher. It’s as a teacher that I believe I’ve been able to make a difference, and that difference, just as any differences I’ve been able to make as a site administrator, have been made not because of any Herculean efforts on my own part, but through the many hands of the amazing people around me that I’ve had some hand in influencing.
So, I will make the world a better place, if I am able to inspire in others (students, parents, and colleagues) kindness, curiosity, and hope.
I’ve seen a few modest examples of this in the powerful emails that some of my former students have sent me over the years…
I’ve read about life changing kindness in an email from a former student who left an affluent corner of the Bay Area to teach school in a remote Alaskan fishing village.
I’ve witnessed miraculous curiosity from a smiling student I’d taught who is now pursuing a career in medicine, her focus on helping heal children.
I’ve been given hope myself when I read a message from a former student whose own son is now attending a school where I taught, and participating in a community service activity that his mother (and her teenaged peers) and I had the opportunity to start a lifetime ago.
Always striving to make a difference, I hope the work I do has a positive influence on those around me, and that I can be an active part of creating a better world, not alone, but alongside others.