A few days ago I came across a tweet that was sent out by Dr. Amanda Stanec. Amanda is a very active part of the #physed network on Twitter and contributes a lot based on her experience in education over the years. In the tweet, Amanda included a quote that holds so much truth. It immediately got me thinking about the massive influence educators have over the learning of their students.
As a proud father of two boys (Eli and Tai), I know exactly what it is like to want the best for your children. My wife, Neila Steele, and I are so incredibly fortunate to work in the same international school. Our boys attend our school as well, so we go to school together in the morning and leave with them together at the end of the day. As educators, we know and understand the impact that teachers have on our students. But when we send Eli and Tai off to their classrooms each morning, we are handing them over to another teacher. We put hope and trust in that person to be the best teacher that they can be for our kids. We are so lucky to have great teachers at our school, Nanjing International School.
When reflecting on Amanda's quote above, there is no question that each and every student depends on teachers to provide a safe learning environment which allows them to thrive and to be their best. The main point of this blog post is to truly think about this for a moment. Next time you have your students in front of you, take a look into each one's eyes and remember that they are someone's everything and you must teach accordingly. You have the power to change their world forever. This is one of the main reasons why I love teaching. Here is one of my favorite photos of a grade 4 class in PE that I took last year . I include the photo in this blog post because it sums up exactly what Amanda's quote is all about. When I look at this photo, I see a class of students who depend on me and need me to guide them. I see a class full of wonderful kids who want to do the best they can.
The most special thing about being a single subject teacher is that we often times have the same students year to year in our programs. Therefore, the influence and impact we have on them is even greater as we teach them over the long haul. As one of my grade 5 classes entered the gym today, I pulled aside the students who were in the photo above and took a picture of them again. They are one year older now and I am lucky enough to be teaching them again. This will be my last year teaching these students before they move on to middle school. I've had these students for 4 years now and can only hope that their experience in my PE program has been a positive one and that they take with them lots of fond memories. Thanks to Amanda for the great quote and the important reminder about just how special each and every student is.