If I were to ask a room full of people to name one teacher who made a difference in their lives, who inspired them, who lit a fire in them and changed their direction forever, I’m certain that nearly every person would not only immediately think of a teacher, but would have a great story to tell about him or her. Kathleen Parker recently wrote about such a teacher, and that story got me thinking about those kinds of experiences.
I said for many years that if I could make that kind of difference in just one student’s life, my whole career would have been worth it. I still believe that. But why should I be satisfied with that?
What if I made it a mission not to inspire one child, but to inspire every child. What if I set a goal to do it not just once in my career, but every day?
What if school could be a place where experiences like that happen not by chance, but by design? What if we set out to engineer an environment and a process and a community where lighting a fire is the rule, where shining moments are the routine. What if every child in our care left school every day feeling valued, encouraged, smart, and capable?
Every child. Every day.
Is it even possible? I’m not sure I’d even know how to begin. But I can’t help but think it’s worth trying to figure out. What do you think?