We All Have Something to Give

I wrote this week’s essay in Dear Teachers more from the perspective of a teacher viewing their students than directed to the reader: the educator. That doesn’t mean that it’s not applicable.

Educator styles and personalities can be as varied as those they teach. One could argue that they should be- diversity allows adaptability.

One can’t, and shouldn’t, try to be all things to everyone. At the same time, everyone should be open to try new things. It’s a dance. If we look at the scene captured here in Marlene’s shot, there’s a ton going on. It’s a dynamic flow of birds, fish, cattails, grasses, sun, water, air and a host of tiny life-forms we can’t even see. Each species has its talents. All find themselves sharing the same space.

We assume that none of the organisms in this picture care about the survival and development of the others. That’s something that only humans, and especially teachers, seem to be concerned about. We may be right or wrong on that, but all of us, from bird to person, do operate within communities. None of us is alone.

As we continue our journey, we can ask ourselves some questions.

If we typically stand alone, what can we do this week to validate that, and what can we do to make a connection or two with someone else? If we’re constantly out there, what can we do this week to simply sit with our self for a bit? What connections matter most to us and our goals? Are we cultivating them or are we getting pulled away?

No fretting. We can speak the truth and adapt. Remember the power of “not yet”.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Here’s to a week where we acknowledge them within ourselves and in those around us: our relationships are part of our environment.

Say them with heart to that wonderful face in the mirror. To those we meet in the hall. To someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, in a note or call.


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