Thursday, January 22, 2009
Making a Difference: My Waking Dream
Some posts bear rereading. I’ve found one such post over at Musings of a Wandering Spirit. Miss H~, the blog’s author, is a teacher. One particular line stood out to me yesterday evening as I reread a certain blog entry of hers. The line is, "I needed to be reminded of why I teach -- to help kids..."
Teaching is hard some days. Often it’s not the kids that tire you. Usually it's the other stuff: paper work, uncooperative printers, criticism, budget issues, etc.
Because of the stressors, we need reminders from fellow encouragers as to why we do what we do. I was reminded by Miss H~’s post why I went into teaching. I went into teaching to help kids. It's that simple.
Miss H~’s post helped me to refocus, recalibrate, and reassess my successes. Today, for a few of my students, I made a significant difference. That's why I teach. (Now I remember!)
I was reminded also of a story called The Starfish, author unknown. Here’s one version of the story…
Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going back and forth between the surf's edge and the beach. Back and forth this person went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.
The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the person continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.
As he came up to the person he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The person looked at the man. He then stooped down and pick up one more starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one!"
Teaching is a profession, like others, that can feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to revisit why we make the effort. Me? I want to make a difference. That’s my “waking dream.”