Monday, September 2, 2019

Strive to Be for Others What You Always Wanted for Yourself

I had many wonderful teachers throughout my formal education. The best combined three ingredients. First, they displayed a love of their subject matter. Second, they had a talent for communication. Above all, each demonstrated a tireless commitment to student learning.

At other times, I had teachers who fell short. Sure, they knew their material.  Yet it was difficult to tell what motivated their work.  In word and deed, they seemed to care very little about student achievement. 

When I reflect on my formal education as a whole, I tend to focus on the latter group. At certain critical points I longed for guidance. I craved feedback that made sense given my personality and intellectual curiosities. Were it available—and had I been able to heed it—different decisions might have been made. I can’t but help think some of these would have been better than the ones I made at the time. 

Today, I can be this kind of person—the one I always wanted/needed. I can strive to be available and responsive to students, in all senses of the terms. 

I cannot recreate the past. But I can help others realize their futures. I can work to be the kind of person I always wanted during my formal education—but sometimes couldn’t find. 

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