Whether it be hearing a student say “thank you for never giving up on me when so many did before coming to school,” or watching a student gain confidence and develop a passion for what their career holds…That is what this teacher thing is all about.
I would not be where I am today in this career field and teaching students daily had it not been for my teachers and coaches, mentors and strong influences in my life who reached out to me going that extra mile at times and cared so greatly. My heart is more passionate toward this than anything. As teachers, coaches, leaders and you name it… We hold such an unbelievably strong ability to influence a life. Whether it be for a season or several years, we can make or break someones everything in the matter of minutes. We can Hinder or Help. We can Manipulate or Motivate. We can Tear Down or Build Up. We can Poison or Refresh I have experienced both. Nothing saddens me more than hearing of these coaches, leaders, and teachers abusing their power of influence creating damage in lives instead of influencing positive changes. Our actions are watched, and our use of Language is heard.
In many cases, we have the chance to impact these lives more direct than anyone else. One of the greatest examples of this came to me in one of my classes several years ago. This student was used to failing her whole life. She approached me many times throughout the quarter out of frustration that she would fail my class. All it took for this student was to feel support for the first time in her life. I remember taking her hand one day as I was teaching her how to perform deep tissue. I stopped her, looked at her in the eye and said. Just keep breathing, I believe in you. You can do this, but you need to believe enough that you can. I will hold you hand and tell this to you over and over but, when push comes to shove… you have to believe it in your heart. It has to come from you. I made such a connection when I would look into this students big eyes. I could see a past pain still filled with disappointment in teachers, coaches and possibly loved ones. It pained my heart to see those eyes. I vowed to be the one person if God could use me in that way to turn that experience around for her. I wanted to teach her that it’s ok to trust. It’s ok to feel disappointment in adults and most of all its OK to believe in yourself despite the voices around you that constantly whisper STOP around you when all you need is one strong voice to say Keep Going.
Sometimes as a teacher, I have to stop and take myself back to those places I do not wish to stay. I have to take myself back to places of defeat, rejection and pain so I can remember how much of a powerful and positive influence I can have in my role and How God can continue to greatly use those tough lessons. Whether it is to to be a listening ear or it is to say “I believe in You.” It says it STRONG. We must talk the talk and walk the walk. Our students, athletes, and children notice it more than we realize.