The Power of Forgiveness Can Be a Life Changer
As educators we often seek to improve our practice and look for every opportunity to help us become better at what we do . Our schools push us to attend professional development conferences and workshops in order to learn as much as we can about how to improve upon our teaching so that we can have the greatest impact possible on our learners. Technology integration, differentiation, instructional strategies, classroom management, providing better feedback and more effectively assessing our learners is usually the focus of these workshops and conferences.
Improving within each of these areas of course will lead to better teaching. However, in my opinion, to become better educators, we must first look inward and reflect upon our own mindset. How we deal with adversity and obstacles in our lives plays a pivotal role in shaping who we are as educators. Do we walk away from challenging situations with a mindset that allows us to grow and expand upon our ability to better deal with adversity and change? More often than not, as teachers, we look externally for tools and strategies to better serve the learners under our care and guidance rather than looking inward.
Looking inward and truly reflecting on our own mindset is a skill that can and should be developed. This same skill is also critical to develop in the students we teach for they too face daily stressors that can feel completely overwhelming to them. The power to let go of anger and frustration is also incredibly important to foster in our students. Easier said than done of course, but it often times begins with forgiveness.
I have followed the work of Orlando Bowen since meeting him personally a couple of summers ago while doing some coaching for a local high school football team in the Toronto area. Orlando is a former professional football player having played a number of seasons with the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Ticats in the Canadian Football League. Orlando's career was cut short due to heinous attack that left him seriously injured.
Instead of bitter resentment and hatred for what had happened to him, Orlando chose forgiveness. In the video below he explains what happened to him, what he learned from it, and ultimately the need to forgive. A powerful message for young people to hear, so consider showing it to your students. Orlando now dedicates his life to empowering people to overcome adversity, find their passion and use their gifts to serve others. I suggest that you too follow Orlando's workHe can be followed on Twitter at @orlandobowen.