25May

The ripple effect of teaching

From my friend Dr Dion Klein

One of the many things I am grateful for is being given the vocation of teaching / being an educator.

Mondays I consider my day off though it is my longest ‘inclusive’ day (travel and teaching) from 530 am to 10 pm doing what I love.

Yesterday one of my international MBA students (Italian) asked me about the companies I have and then followed up with “So you teach here because of passion?”  I responded “I guess I do”.  I then shared with my students I had been teaching since I was 10 years of age to imaginary students in my basement (at that age there was nothing weird about it in the early 1970s) and was writing lesson plans since that age.  

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.  

Another student (from Zambia) asked if I taught primary school and said ‘yes’ as part of my undergraduate study.  After that experience I knew I never wanted to teach that age group.  Those little ones have WAY too much energy especially when there are over 20 of them!  Even my co-op teacher / supervisor highly suggested that it was probably best I didn’t go in that direction!  

High school teaching was just as challenging (actually failed my student teaching experience and pursued journalism).  In my Masters studies, I found my love in adult education via my graduate assistantship at Temple University which kept me on my path. [and I digress]

At the end of class, the Italian student said she found me and my class “amazing” (agreed by the Zambia student).  I said that it also had to so with the students who were in the class. It was a pretty ‘wow’ experience.  

On the train ride home I reflected on my most influential teachers who inspired me to pursue this profession / vocation – Joanne Heintz​, Sandy Slabik​, Ellie Albright – though the list can go on.

Sometimes we, as teachers, tend to take for granted what we ‘do’ to and through our students.  I am guilty of it because it is so much a part of me to which I feel I am never ‘teaching’ when in front of the classroom.  When I ‘teach’ I feel that I am more of a disseminator of information, knowledge and wisdom than textbook ‘stuff’ (a very academic term).

Teachers are amazing people especially those who are ‘called’ to it (as it is a major part of your ‘being-ness’).  Teaching / Education is one of the most powerful professions on the planet as, as teachers, our words and teachings can either empower or dis-empower developing minds and our future leaders.  

So to all the teachers out there … Stop, take a moment and reflect on the difference you make to humanity … you have a ripple effect … 

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