Dear Teachers and Educators – Do you ever wonder if you’re making any difference at all?
Do you ever just want to come home from teaching; kick off your shoes; stuff your mouth with a bag of potato chips; and watch the latest TV series on Netflix until you fall asleep and then you have to get up and do it all over again? Do you ever feel under-appreciated, over-worked, and underpaid in a profession that you still feel compelled to do? Do you have such a passion for teaching that you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else in life? Then, the next day at school, you see a once-shy, troubled student, who seems to avoid everyone and everything in the classroom, break into a smile at some type of positive reinforcement that you’ve shared with him or her; and, suddenly you feel a sense of immediate gratification. You know that you’ve touched a student’s life in a positive way.
In addition to immediate gratification, teachers can also receive delayed gratification as well.
Within your teaching, the seeds of knowledge and caring that you scatter into the wind and the pebbles that you cast into a vast ocean of students can produce waves of positive results within your students that you may never know anything about.
Case in point: Yesterday, the Father of one of my former high school students, hand-delivered a book from his son that was dedicated to me.
Now, I had heard over the years, that this student had published many children’s books; had been awarded the Caldecott Honor Medal for children’s literature; and, was a well-known author and speaker all over the world. But, when I received Aaron Reynold’s book, “Caveboy Dave:
Not so Faboo: That Moment when you Become the Boss at Twelve Years Old,” with illustrations by Phil McAndrew; and, I read the inside inscription:
“To Gail Fleming, a super faboo leader who practically invented creativity!,” I felt a deep sense of delayed gratification. Aaron displayed exceptional talent as a singer, actor, and dancer when he was a student of mine at O’Fallon High School, O’Fallon, IL, some 30 years ago
(I actually had to refer to my calculator to figure out how long it had been). He played the starring role in our musical theatre productions; he led the Show Choir to victory at competitions; and, he provided inspiration to our Madrigal Dinners with kindness and magic at holiday time. So, to find that he’s become a world-famous author and speaker is really no surprise to me at all. But, to think that I may have had some small bit of influence is one of the most rewarding delayed gratifications that I’ve received. I Feel Faboo!
Here is a big Shout Out! To Aaron Reynolds for his outstanding accomplishments as an author who gives presentations of his books to adoring children all over the world. I’m very, very proud of you, Aaron.
Gail H Fleming, your high school choral and theatre director.Aaron Reynold’s facebook page
Aaron’s amazing website: www.aaron-reynolds.com