If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people. ~Confucius
Tonight at my Master's class, we discussed the topic of leadership.
We had a chance to reflect on the things that make a great leader.
--Consistency and flexibility.
--Present and visible.
--Communication and demeanor.
--Passion and hope.
--Leading by example.
--Ability to implement change, disrupt the old way of doing things, in a positive way.
It reminded me of the first time a colleague pulled me aside, in my second year of teaching. She was a veteran teacher, now retired. But she made a point to tell me that other teachers looked up to me, and listened to my ideas. She told me I was a leader, even though I was new to education, and very young, she respected my ability to communicate with other teachers who had been around for a while, and in such a positive way.
I had made an impact on her.
The conversation stuck with me through the years.
While I am happy to be a little 'ole art teacher, the fact that she noticed something in me, that I did not realize at the time and might not have ever noticed about myself, made a big impact on my life.
Her belief in me, has helped me to make decisions that I otherwise would not have made.
After retiring, she stayed around the building for a few more years, part-time, working with students a few days a week. Her retirement party had been the big send off, cake, corsage, cards, breakfast, and then lunch with the superintendents.
But on her actual last day, a few years later....she slipped out quietly....one last long look at the building. I waved to her across the lot, but she was lost in her thoughts, and it wasn't until later that I realized it was her actual last day ever. I remember the forlorn but satisfied look she had. Resolute. Content. Wistful.
Her teaching days were over. She impacted hundreds if not thousands of young lives.
Over the course of her career, she had probably pulled many young teachers aside for a similar chat. She had that special way to make you feel like you were really special and loved. I know that is what made her such a great teacher. She probably did the same with her little first graders.
She inspired me to recognize my ability to be a good leader. Its funny how much impact you have on others that you don't even realize. She probably doesn't even remember that conversation....but I sure do. I'm so glad she took the time to see my potential and encourage me.
This is my 'slice of life' blog.
My Art Teacher Blog:
This Little Class of Mine