Change The World

Once upon a time there was this teacher who thought he 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. He knew that to do this he would need tools…

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

Second, he 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 he’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 he’s going to go home to his family who needs the biggest piece.

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

Fourth, he 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, he 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 he will want to keep his 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, he would need the necessary materials and funds. Materials so that he could allow his students to learn in a way that is best for them. Funds so that great ideas aren’t missed as they happen along.

Seventh, he 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, he 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, he would need the time to reflect, since only upon reflection will he be able to learn from his mistakes.

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