You Never Know Who You’re Teaching
For the first time, my wife and I built a house from the ground up. For those who have never done it, it can be a very daunting experience. What you are doing is looking at the potential of what the house should look like instead of knowing what it actually looks like. You start off with a plan and as things arise, the plan can change. In addition to the building itself, you are also choosing the area that is best for your family. There is no guarantee that area will continue to be safe, have good schools, etc. five or 10 years down the road. Essentially, you are making a gamble to reside in a specific house in a specific area.
All of this got me thinking about how similar it is to teaching. Every student who walks into our classrooms (or who logs in for some of us) has the potential to be anyone he/she wants to be. As educators, we have the ability to make a positive impact on our students’ lives that will benefit them for years to come.
For me, building a house was tough because I could not fully see it. When I used to hear the expression that students have the potential to be anyone, I still had a hard time seeing it.
If you’re anything like me, you need an example, and I have a great one for this! So I’m sitting in my chair watching “The Voice” with my wife when I notice a performance that catches my eye. I look closer and realize this guy singing is someone I actually knew growing up. Like most people, I took to the computer to Google him and it turns out he is a member of the popular country group Florida Georgia Line. This guy and I used to sing in a youth camp praise team band many years ago. I had lunch at his house, swam in his pool, played guitar with him, and was friends with him many years ago. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that he would become not only successful, but famous. I found a CD of one of his homemade songs he wrote and performed. It’s amazing to see the progress he has made and the success he has found by following his dreams.
My point is that we never know who our students will become. They can be a famous singer, a Fortune 500 CEO, or another educator who enriches the lives of his/her students. That is why it is so important that we treat each student with the highest level of respect and to provide a world-class education for everyone we interact with. What we do, as educators, is nurture the whole child to help develop and inspire him or her to pursue his or her dreams.
What can you do to inspire and cultivate the potential of a child today?
Post by Shawn Wigg, Former Lead Teacher and 2014 FLVS Teacher of the Year