I'm not sure where I came across this powerful piece of insight, but it hits home in so many ways.
Imagine the world without Michelangelo, Dante, Pasteur...
What if they'd chosen to squander their talents because they couldn't be bothered to research, invent and create.
How many of us attack each day with a desire to do our best and be our best?
I know, it's exhausting to exist in this state but so well worth it. It is here that greatness is born-most often not the greatness of the masters but the greatness found in the ordinary moments of living in a school that is filled with passion by all those who inhabit it.
Children are born with this type of passion; the need to know all, be all and do all.
It is when they encounter apathetic teachers and adults that they lose their potential.
I speak of
the teachers who arrive each day content with mediocrity.
The teachers who forget to read, research, and investigate in order to expand their minds and give the children the best of themselves.
The teachers who watch the clock, forget to say good morning to lift a child's spirits.
The type of teachers who are not present and in the moment.
The type of teachers who are not invested in the art of negotiated learning.
The type of teachers who do not stay after their students are gone to attend to the environment, reflect on the children's work and prepare for the next day.
These are the teachers who lack passion and so their potential is lost and so too is the potential of their students.
Let us consider an alternative.
I offer the the teacher who arrives well before her shift begins to prepare for her day with the children which will surely bring a multitude of new adventures and possibilities. Along the way to her classroom she stops to greet a few of her coworkers. Her passion has inspired them to arrive early as well. They notice the bag she is clutching. The school is quiet. It's only 6:30 a.m.
She has a mischievous smile on her face because the bag she carries holds a new supply of loose parts that she discovered at the nursery the night before. She already imagines what the children might do with them. This is not an uncommon practice for her. She is always in search of new materials for her classroom.
She opens the door and pauses for a moment happy to take in the wonder of learning.
She sets down her treasures and flicks on the computer eager to review the photos and documentation of yesterday's experiences.
She prints them to share with the children during morning discussion.
Students begin arriving with their parents in tow. They are full of questions about yesterday's discoveries and she is more than happy to share in their joy.
In the blink of an eye
the day ends with not enough time to catch each smile, each heartbeat, each new discovery.
But she is content. She gave it her best and expected no less from the children. They in turn gave her their best knowing that she was her best and together they lived the day to their full potential.
What type of teacher are you-share your wonder!