A few years ago I came back from retirement and became a substitute teacher. I'd done that for quite a while in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as teaching preschoolers for years. And I taught Kindergarten and First Grade in private schools and was an Instructional Counselor at California School for the Deaf.
I've never made a lot of money at any of these jobs, but somehow I keep getting back into educating
Of course that's partly because I enjoy kids. But it's also because, as with writing, I believe it's a way to help make the world a better place.
Even if I'm only in a specific classroom for one day, it's possible that something I say or do will help a child. Sometimes I'll say something in a different way than the usual teacher and a kid will "get" a concept he or she struggled with before.
And working with the same kids over an extended period of time can do a lot to influence them.
I'll never know if any of the kids I've worked with did or will grow up to live differently or make a certain choice because of my influence, but I hope I have made a difference to at least a few of them. And the combined influence of me and all their other teachers has certainly impacted the lives of many children.
And perhaps some of those kids will go on to influence others as a result and will make an even bigger difference in the world.
Has anything your teachers said or did had a lasting influence on you?