I worked at a local middle school today where West Point Academy was sponsoring an all-day STEM workshop and competition. Cadets and officers were in attendance along with about 200 students ranging from fourth to eleventh grade. I stood at the door of entry and checked each student in as they arrived. I worked to get them into the auditorium as quickly as I could. Then, for some reason, I stopped. I looked up, and I saw the promise of tomorrow in the eyes of a young girl waiting there in front of me.
“Good morning,” I said.
“Good morning, Ma’am.” She peered through sleepy eyes back at me.
“How is your day so far?” I queried.
“I woke up late, ma’am.” Heavy sigh. Her hair was tousled. She wore sweats, a t-shirt and light sweatshirt on this early warm Los Angeles morning.
I smiled. “Well, you did the first important thing. You showed up. You’re here now. Go on in, get your materials. You’re ready to make it a great day.” Her cheeks rose up to meet her brown eyes in a smile that lit up the entry way. And off she went.
My words make a difference.
Our words make a difference.
I have much weighing on me presently. My mind is full of ‘to do’s’ and ‘don’t forget to’s. But at that moment I remembered, “Be right here. Right now.” It is the only place to be. I spent the next part of the hour looking at students, greeting them and drinking in their beautiful smiles full of hope and potential and greatness. It just does not get any better than this. As teachers and leaders in our schools, we have the responsibility to make the world a better place for the students who pass through our lives. I don’t think we go into teaching for many other reasons. It is good when things pile up, we get busy, we take on too much – to stop and remember to let my words make a difference right here, right now.
Thank you to Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, & Stacy for providing a place for so many to join together in a writing community. The written words from Slice of Life 2015 have made a difference for me. For more wondrous words, check out Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life March 2015 Challenge here.