December 06, 2013

Power

December 6, 2013 Photo of the day:  "Gratitude"

Today was a challenging day for me: end of term grading, curriculum meetings, philosophical discussions that left me feeling frustrated and frankly, powerless. Please don't send me your condolences; I'm not soliciting sympathy or pep-talks. Everyone has days like these. Yet, somehow, as if on cue, this lovely note appeared in my mailbox -- this heartfelt thank you from a students who was eager to share his great news and to sincerely express his gratitude. Notes like this (and these), remind me that I have the honor and responsibility of "having faith" in my students and of "guiding" them as they discover their own potential. Teaching isn't about imparting your own wisdom, but rather providing guidance, strategies, and honest feedback so that students truly learn to think, to take risks, to communicate, to create, and to find their own paths in life.

One of the world's most resilient, wisest, and honorable leaders passed away yesterday. Nelson Mandela was a man of vision and integrity, an activist who fought for human rights and a peacemaker who believe in the potential of all men and women. How extraordinary that on a day when I am feeling frustrated and powerless, I am reminded by both Ryan's thank you and by Madiba's wisdom that "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Thank you!