“Most teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum or choice of texts or special placement of students, but most have a great deal of autonomy inside the classroom. To a degree shared by only a few other occupations, such as police work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people at the bottom of the institution pyramid.”
— Tracy Kidder
“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring
the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.”
— Horace Mann
As I look back on my formal education in school, I can count on one hand (and probably a finger or two) the teachers that really made a difference compared to the many others who were either a bore or a chore. The ones that stood out for me created in me a desire to want to know more and I wanted to stay as long as I could and learn more compared to the others where I couldn’t wait to get on to the next class or the end of the day. I’m sure I’m not alone in this backward view.
Somehow we expect that teachers should be better. Of course, some are, but most don’t seem to be–yet I know we all have such a reservoir of ability, so I know they have it, though they don’t display it. Why do we think that? Just like we think that all cops should be good cops.
So, all electricians should be good electricians? All carpenters should be good carpenters? All car sales people should be honest and good? All politicians should be honest and good. No, we don’t expect that they will all be good, instead, we might think that it is hard to find a good one out of the clutter of poor prospects.
There is something primal about a teacher in that we need them to help us, yet at the same time, we don’t really appreciate them as we could. Some of them can make such a difference in our lives as did Edward James Olmos in the movie, Stand and Deliver.
In this, aren’t we all in that teacher role? I want my kids to be inspired to learn more and if I can have the smallest part in that, I am very satisfied and successful. At the job site and the interactions with others, I am a teacher and can have the same possibilities of effect.
So, where it all starts and ends is in ourselves. If we are looking outside of ourselves for someone else to make the difference, we are missing out on the real difference: our teaching; our influence; our enthusiasm; our love; our inspiration.
There is nothing more pleasing to me than to feel that I am an inspiration to someone else as I feel that same inspiration within me. It’s kind of like surfing a big one at Sunset Beach and after a sweet and long ride, landing on 20′ deep down comforter.
Spread Some Joy Today–Get excited about your own influence and how you might be able to inspire others to think more of themselves than they did before. You’ll get high!