As I sit back and think about the years I have been teaching, I’m amazed. Teaching was not my first love or career choice; journalism was. You could say I somewhat settled. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like teaching because I love children and I have a passion for making a difference in the lives of children. I just could do without the extra added bullshit and politics that come along with it. I could live happily without that part actually. For many who chose this profession they know that you don’t get in this for the money or the vacations or days off. Those who really have a love for this profession do it to make a difference in the lives of children and for their future.
I was asked the other day, “Who inspired you to teach?” Wholeheartedly I can say it was my own teachers who inspired me throughout the years. They came into the classroom every day knowing that each and every student was different. We all had different needs and although at times this can be frustrating, they took the time to work with us. My teachers were some of the best, some of whom I am still friends with now. I share with them how much they have impacted my life and now I have students saying the same to me. This feels so good because those are the true fruits of all my hard work!
During this month of National Make a Difference to Children Month, I want to remind you as parents and educators the importance of making a difference in the life of a child. You can either make a child stronger or truly break them into pieces. I always remind people of the way you should speak to children. Not every child is the same and so you can’t speak to them the same. Many children are emotional and they take things literally. Having a child with special needs has really helped me to understand even more the importance that we can make in the lives of children. I remember witnessing years ago one of my sons teachers speaking to him in a very condescending way and I walked up on her doing it. Of course, she denied that she was being inappropriate, but I witnessed it with my own two eyes and I had a few choice words for her.
As teachers as well as parents, we have to remember that children want to feel important, loved, appreciated and valued. Doesn’t every human being? Take that extra time out of your day to make your own children in your household feel extra special. Allow them to see that they make a difference in your life. Tell them! Tell them how happy you are to be their parent and how it was an honor to bring them into this world. It’s a definite confidence booster because it makes them feel special and wanted. As teachers, remind your students how lucky you are to be their teacher, that you see the endless possibilities in them and that you believe in all that they are and what they will become.
Take these little extra moments to make a difference in their lives. With some simple words, you can change their entire perspective on how they feel and how they might view themselves. It makes you feel good and it makes them feel greater about themselves. You want to help build their confidence so they can continue this inspiration in their life. This will become the norm and they in return will start spreading inspiration to others. I hope to continue to inspire for years to come and leave my legacy of inspiration with all the children who walk in and out of my classroom, especially with my own children. Go inspire someone now!