The Power of Story: Be the Light

I loved hearing Kristin Ziemke’s keynote about the power of story. During her talk, she said, “If we keep people at the center of what we do, we can make a difference.”

In the spirit of telling our stories, I overheard a conversation that caught my attention today:

A tall man in shorts stood in line in front of me at Starbucks this morning. He looked to be somewhere in his late 50’s. From just behind me another man spoke, “You must be back to work today.”

The man in shorts replied in a tone of drudgery, “Yes, this is my first day back. The four words I hate most are, ‘Welcome Back to School.’ Only two more years left of this.”

My heart sank at his words. I felt an ache of sadness for the man; then in an instant my sadness turned to real concern as I thought of the students who would have to endure his classrooms for the next two years. I screamed silently, “QUIT NOW!! Don’t do this to kids!”

Thankfully, most of our teachers are exuberantly excited to be back with kids! But I wonder, how many of our teachers are where this man is today? Can we intervene with support and hope that will trickle down to students?

Each student deserves and needs hope at school. Hopeless teachers cannot instill hope in kids. It is our moral imperative to rally around each other with hope and optimism for the sake of our students. We need to reach each teacher exactly where they’re at with truth and with hope. And the truth is 100 percent of kids are awesome. (Kristin Ziemke) We might even need to face where we are ourselves and seek help. Principals, coaches, teacher leaders, PLC members, please re-consider Building a Culture of Hope with an eye focused on teachers who need us.

Be the light for a teacher who needs you.

My wish is that my grandson’s teacher will be filled with hope and optimism, and that his classroom will an amazing place where kids are supported, loved, and excited about learning.

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