How Big is your “Classroom”? (8-19-22)

“Back to school” happenings this week remind me of an important yearly ritual when our three kids were in school. Two weeks before classes began, we would drive to school and read the homeroom class lists taped to the cafeteria windows. After quickly scanning each list to find their own names and, hopefully, the names of their best friends, they checked to learn the identify of their homeroom teachers. Absolutely convinced that this teacher had the power to make the school year wonderful or terrible for them, they grinned … or groaned. It was no secret which teachers were their favorites.

It’s been a very long time since I was in school but I still remember three of my favorites: Mrs. Landry, Sister Andre and Mr. McClure. Who were your favorites? Stop reading, take a moment, and name your top three. Then think about what made them stand out from the crowd.

Were they good listeners who were interested in your opinions? Did they have a sense of humor? Could they be trusted to keep their word? Did they encourage and support you as you set and reached your goals? Were they tough, yet fair? Did they make you feel valued? Did they help you grow and develop, not only as a student but also as a person with great potential and a belief in yourself and your future? Were they positive role models?

No matter how big or small their classroom, memorable teachers have these strengths … the same strengths that help define memorable people. Some of you reading this blog were/are teachers. But if you don’t see yourself as an “official” teacher, remember this. No matter what “title” you hold – parent, grandparent, adult child, family member, spouse, friend, partner, colleague, coworker, volunteer, board member, mentor, student, leader or follower…you have the power to influence others in a positive way.

You may not stand in the front of a classroom, but everyone with whom you come in contact is learning something from you – on every day and with every encounter. Your “teaching circle” may be large or small. How are you influencing others in a positive way? How big is your “classroom”?


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