You’re the only one who can make a difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it.
To our fellow toastmasters , guests, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
Let me read you a story of an Educator named Dawn who won the National Distinguished Principal Award. In her first year of leading the school, she could sense the discrimination because she is brown and she is a woman. But, this never intimidated her. One day a 4th-grade girl lost her tooth in the trash with the remains of her lunch. She reported the disaster to her principal. You know what Dawn did? She retrieved it. She plunged into the garbage to find it for the distressed child. And, Dawn had taught a lesson that remained in this little girl’s heart.
I know we won’t meet the same situation as Dawn, but if we look at our surroundings, we will see a lot of opportunities. But, we don’t notice them because our hearts have different priorities.It takes three p’s , passion , prayer and power to make a difference to be like Principal Dawn.
The first p is Passion. You should ignite your passion for teaching.One can never consent to creep, when one feels an impulse to soar. (Hellen Keller) One day, when I was a senior high school, my economics teacher told me to take over her class. I jumped at it. Can you imagine how honored I felt? I loved it! After I graduated from high school, I am not sure on what course to study. Usually, in the State University, they choose your program. If I were to pass the first screening, I would be in the Education Department. So, I did. After four years in college, I really wanted to teach because I felt the joy when I saw the fruit of my sacrifices – hearing my students singing our song and discussing our lessons. Because I wanted to finish my education, I worked as service crew. On the side, I also got a non-academic scholarship. Imagine how hard it was for me, to work four hours in the school office and report to the class for 6 hours, then, run to the food chain store to work for 4 hours everyday! Because of my burning desire to be a teacher, I balanced my work and studies.
School is about white water rafting, not drifting on golden pond (Molly Helminger). I experience changes and riding those rapids was not easy for two years in private school. I felt tired and I wanted to quit. What kept me on track is my FAITH. There’s a more spiritual side of life than just teaching. Sometimes, your passion dies, and you need to go back to your first LOVE – God.
Let me give you the next P to becoming a winning Educator – Prayer. If you want to be in this field forever, you need to have a strong faith and you need prayer. I am very happy that I met my best Christian friend, KC, who helps me to survive in this difficult teaching life. One thing I like about her is that she remained calm and happy despite the pressure she went through. I wonder what’s her secret. I tried to get in to her room and I found out that she played inspirational music. When I listened to it, it made me feel alive. Despite of our busy schedules, we always make time to attend bible study every Wednesday. Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”(D. L. Moody). Everytime I couldn’t stand facing demanding parents or delinquent students, I closed my eyes and prayed. I did survive.
Finally, the last P is your POWER. You have the power to empower others. This will make the greatest difference in your life. Let me tell you the story of the award winning educator. Her name is Molly. She said ,” in school leadership, there are tidal waves. We are bombarded by data. My role is to teach others how to ride the waves. All teachers are leaders. I know we are bombarded with rigorous tasks – that includes being the classroom manager. She adds that every student’s success is our number one priority and the strength of leadership is a person’s ability to coach and mentor others. The secret to empowering your students or subordinates is to communicate, communicate and communicate. When you communicate, you listen and understand your students.
Let me summarize the 3 Ps to become a winning educator, Passion. You need to love your work. Next, Prayer, make God as your center of your life because He’s the one who will give you strength to survive. Every time I feel the pain, I always think that my greatest boss is God and I work for him. I am working for God and I called to TEACH and to make a difference. Finally, Power. You have the power to make a difference and you have the power to break the routines and have faith that you can change the system.
Harris, S., Ballenger J.,Townes FH.,Carr C., and Alford B. et al. Winning Women Stories of Award -Winning Educators.,2004 Scarecrow Education, Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.
Proofreader and editor : Jimmy