Every child, every chance, every day…I first heard this phrase years back when Surrey Schools Superintendent Mike McKay shared it with us. It’s a simple phrase, but a profound one. Jacques Barzun stated that “In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.” But if you do get a glimpse of the fruit of your work as an educator, you are reminded of the life changing impact educators have on children. As busy as schools get, reminders like this can be the fuel to not only keep going but reach new heights in our practice, renewing our commitment to doing whatever it takes to reach our students.
If you are as fortunate as I have been to reconnect with former students, you become aware of how impressionable kids are and how vivid their memories are of the smallest details of their school life. A small gesture, act, or comment might be what lingers on for the rest of a child’s life. Thousands of these take place…every day. Unfortunately, we don’t know which small seed we will plant, when or if it will grow, and what it will turn into.
If Henry Brooks Adams is correct in stating “A teacher affects eternity…” (and I think he is), then we have to treat each and every day as the day we will make that small gesture, act, or comment, however ordinary or inconsequential it seems at the time.
We in schools need to be at our best and more, every day – for every chid every chance we get. How lucky are we that because we teach, we get to live Christa McAuliffe’s words daily, “I touch the future!”
What is your story of touching the future?