This past week, I was presenting at a conference with a team from my school district. While waiting to set up for the presentation, I recognized someone from my past who had an enormous effect on my life. I was standing within feet of the one college professor who took the time to know, nurture, and love me as a young college student. Dr. Laurie Fluker was my hero at Texas State University (the former Southwest Texas State University).
We immediately embraced (several times) in amazement that we were seeing each other after so many years. I had not seen Dr. Fluker since undergrad graduation more than 20 years ago. I graduated with a degree in Mass Communication (Broadcasting). Although I worked in the TV News field for about 4 years, I have been in education for most of my adult life. I was reminded that she taught me skills as part of the Mass Communications Department, but they were really skills that have helped in in life.
Dr. Fluker so graciously attended our presentation. While I presented, I saw not just my former professor in the audience, I saw an educator who had taken the time to pour into my life. She sat in the audience and had a smile on her face from ear to ear. Dr. Fluker made my heart smile. The feelings I had watching my college hero show how proud she is of what I have become made me realize that what I was experiencing was the power of an educator. To have my former professor acknowledge my accomplishments and show pride in my work, gave me a sense of worth. Knowing that I made her proud made me proud.
The power of a teacher…. we have the power to make our students feel like they are the smartest kids we have ever seen. We have the power to make our students feel like they can conquer the world. We have the power to help our students see their strengths and give them the encouragement to push through adversity and become great in their own right.
Educators… to whom are you a hero? Are you seeding into the lives of your students? Are you teaching them skills that will transfer to life? Are you making them feel special? I challenge you for the remainder of the school year to make each of your students feel as if they are the smartest... they are the kindest... they are the ones who will make a huge difference in this world. Who's up for the challenge?.
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.