You know that summer is coming to a close when the local football team is having two-a-day practice sessions, teachers are talking about in-service days prior to school beginning and students are in full swing either preparing for school or talking about it in a dreadful way. Any day now we should see school bus drivers making practice runs and school zone signs should be flashing reminding drivers to lower their speed and drive extra cautious in those areas.
School is one of those institutional experiences, not to mention a requirement by law, that provides the opportunity for our children and teenagers to grow, learn and experience the beginning of some of the many opportunities and challenges they will face throughout their lifetime. While some students look upon education in a negative view, school is a real opportunity to change the mindset or at least expose students to truth, even if it is not embraced full by them. Teachers are uniquely placed in a position because of their chosen profession to impact the lives of not just students but parents and even siblings.
Students need inspiration, motivation and encouragement. It could be said that this same prescription is what we all need, but even more so when the mind is developing and a student’s interest is teased and absorbing knowledge. My personal experience in motivating others has faced many challenges. Meeting a mind that has been allowed to remain dormant with no encouragement regarding opinion, or empowerment for self-expression puts motivators in a position that could allow for an easy ‘giving-up’ on them attitude. This however doesn’t excuse us from the responsibility of engaging and helping students and others from finding a new height, new experience or even a new opportunity.
Standing before us in time is a moment to make a difference for another individual using our talents, interest and experiences. As this new school year begins I want to challenge not just teachers but parents of young children, we grandparents and even neighbors of children and teens to seize a moment to invest in someone else. Will we meet resistance? Yes, by some. Will others latch on and become absorbing machines of learning, yes if we are willing to give.
There is no opportunity like today to become a teacher if not in the classroom, then by becoming a teacher outside the classroom.
Follow Tim Mills on Twitter @THMills.