Change The World

Once upon a time there was this teacher who thought she could change the world. Not all at once mind you, but one day at a time, one student at a time, in ways so small that you might not even notice if your weren’t paying close attention. She knew that to do this she would need tools…

First and foremost, she would need the capacity to love her students–for without this tool, nothing else would be possible.

Second, she would need a sense of balance because the effort to teach well can be all-consuming, because the collective needs of the class can be overwhelming, because every parent is praying that she’ll be the one who is that special influence on their most precious gift, because the amount of red tape involved in doing the simplest things is enough to frustrate even a saint, and because at the end of the day she’s going to go home to her family who needs the biggest piece.

Third, she would need a sense of perspective, so she could realize that while she’s teaching her lessons a million other equally if not more valuable thoughts are going through the minds of her students.

Fourth, she would need a sense of vision to steady the compass of educational change in a world that is not always willing to wait for children to grow up.

Fifth, she would need a sense of humor because young children, like adults, have their own way of being funny that they want more than anything for someone to understand, because she will want to keep her students learning without invoking military rule, and because sometimes a teacher sees things so sad that only a good laugh will dry the tears away.

Sixth, she would need the necessary materials and funds. Materials so that she could allow her students to learn in a way that is best for them. Funds so that great ideas aren’t missed as they happen along.

Seventh, she would need the time to prepare, since a good lesson often takes twice as long to develop and assess as it does to teach.

Eighth, she would need the time to teach, since learning, like a good meal, should never be rushed if it is to be enjoyed and remembered.

Ninth, she would need the time to reflect, since only upon reflection will she be able to learn from her mistakes.

Tenth, she would need the time to improve, since she as well as her students want to do more than just their second best.