I have this soft spot for music teachers. It is interesting where you see this massive shift to focusing on “data,” that the arts tend to be cut first when they are needed more than ever.
I have a deep love for hearing and telling stories that were instilled in me by my elementary music teacher, Cindy Penrose. I learned as much in her music class that I have applied to what I do today than I did in any of my other classes as a student, if not more. This is not only in my work, but my love of music, drama, and movies, as well as hard work and discipline. Mrs. Penrose gave me an appreciation of these things that I would not have had without her.
Dan Pink discusses the importance of the arts in “A Whole New Mind”:
“Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These six senses increasingly will guide our lives and shape our world.”
The reason I bring this up is that I was sharing this with a music teacher that I had met yesterday. She made a comment about my “presence and timing” as a speaker, and I told her that was 100% because of the influence of my music teacher as a student, and that I guarantee, as a teacher, she had the same impact Mrs. Penrose had on me on a ton of her students, she just did not know it.
Many teachers have no idea their impact on the lives of people today. For every one positive message you have received, there are probably 100’s that you didn’t that could talk about your positive influence on their lives today. Mrs. Penrose is not the only one to have had a positive impact on me today. Every generation of educators wants to help their students make the world a better place and I believe that in some way, every generation of teachers has done just that.
While “data” is becoming all the rage in education, understand that your impact as a teacher is genuinely immeasurable and permeates every facet of society. Education, in my mind, will all be the most human profession in the world, and that is not something that could ever be easily measured.
As the year winds down and stress levels can become high in education, I just want to say thank you for all that you do.
PS…I am not the only who has been impacted to this day because of a teacher. Check out some of the responses below:
As a K-12 student, what teacher had a positive impact on you? How does the experience of being in their classroom or learning from them positively impact you today?
— George Couros (@gcouros) May 18, 2019