Goal 5 is about feeding yourself inspiration. The idea is to gather quotes, songs, images and videos that can help inspire you to be a great educator. I have selected a few of the most influential quotes that I gathered. I could have listed hundreds more, but then I’d be here all year!
I created this short video with some of the inspiring quotes that I have found:
Dr Seuss’ stories have always been important to me. I believe almost any quote from Dr Seuss is inspirational!
The following story was posted on Twitter recently and it really resonated with me:
What Teachers Make
Adapted from a poem by Taylor Mali
The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO of a large company, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”
He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?”
Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
“You want to know what I make?” She paused for a second, then began…
“Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like an Order of Australia. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for 5 without an iPod, Game Cube or movie rental… You want to know what I make?”
She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.
“I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in maths.
“I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand to sing the National Anthem, because we live in Australia.
“Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.
Bonnie paused one last time and then continued, “Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant.
“You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?”
THERE IS MUCH TRUTH IN THIS STATEMENT: “Teachers make every other profession.”
The following is a prayer that I like to reflect on:
Lord, let me be just what they need.
If they need someone to trust, let me be trustworthy.
If they need sympathy, let me sympathise.
If they need love, (and they do need love), let me love, in full measure.
Let me not anger easily Lord, but let me be just.
Permit my justice to be tempered in your mercy.
When I stand before them, Lord, let me look strong and good and honest and loving.
And let me be as strong and good and honest and loving as I look to them.
Help me to counsel the anxious, crack the covering of the shy, temper the
rambunctious with a gentle attitude.
Permit me to teach only the truth.
Help me to inspire them so that learning will not cease at the classroom door.
Let the lessons they learn make their lives fruitful and happy.
And, Lord, let me bring them to You.
Teach them through me to love You.
Finally, permit me to learn the lessons they teach.
(Author: Charman Kinzelman)
The story below highlights how one small action can make a huge difference:
Once upon a time there was a wise man
who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking on the beach
before he began his work.
One day he was walking along the shore.
As he looked down the beach, he saw a
human figure moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself to think of someone
who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man
and he wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching
down to the shore, picking up something
and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
When he got closer he called out,
“Good morning! What are you doing?”
The young man paused, looked up and replied,
“Throwing starfish in the ocean.”
He then asked, “Why are you throwing starfish in the ocean.”
He answered, “The sun is up and the tide is going out.
And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”
“But, young man, don’t you realize that the beach is vast
and there are starfish all along it.
You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely.
Then bent down, picked up another starfish
and threw it into the ocean, past the breaking waves
and said – “It made a difference to that one!”
By Loren Eisley