Goal 11 of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators! Click the link to find out more about the new changes to this year’s 30 Goals Challenge for Educators!
A Thought on Impact
Everyday I wake up I feel the weight of my impact. I am connected to over 20,000 educators worldwide on social networks. On Twitter it’s over 25,000. Educators follow the resources, messages, words, links, etc. that I share. They listen, then share with their communities. I plant seeds everyday. They spread the seeds. What if I took this role lightly? What if I carelessly shared or used my words to spread hatred or a certain convoluted idea? Over 20,000 is enough to start a mini- movement, a revolution, and even a war. History has proven this to us and so I carry the weight of my impact daily. I try not to forget and I try to inspire wherever I go even when I don’t feel like it. My mood and my words have power.
An Educator’s Impact
Millions of educators out there take their roles lightly, because they do not realize the weight of their impact. They don’t realize that every time they walk into a classroom they plant seeds that may grow into weeds and stunt their students’ learning journeys or worse produce more weeds. Weeds destroy a lot in their path and make beautiful plants difficult to grow. I’ve walked into many classrooms and heard teachers, principals, counselors tell a student he or she isn’t good enough, is too dumb, or seal their fate by saying they will follow the steps of their trouble-making parents or siblings. The problem is that our students listen to us. They often become the products of our words and actions because we spend so much time with them. We don’t just get them a few minutes. We often get them months or most of the year. We influence them. If a child believes he will be a criminal and grows up to be a criminal, that’s a weed we spread. That student will impact all the people he/she hurts and their families. They will often get their peers to follow along in their crimes. That’s the impact of negative words or messages.
I’m not bashing teachers. I want to remind you that as an educator you have a weight you carry daily. You have the weight of 1000s. You have impact.
Let’s Do the Math
I like infographics, because they show us a visual representation of numbers and sometimes I wish every teacher could be given an infographic of the number of students they have taught and who they have impacted as a result of their learning. Let’s try getting a mental picture of our individual impact just with students we have taught. I’ve included a chart to kind of help with this process.
- In the first column, list each year you have been teaching.
- In the next column, write down the number of classes you have been teaching or list the class name.
- In the 3rd column, write down the number of students in each class.
- In the 4th column, write down the total of students taught for that year.
- In the 5th column, write down the total of students taught through tutoring or special programs.
- In the last box, come up with the number of students you’ve taught in your life. For many of us this number is in the 100s to 1000s.
Imagine the impact each of those students will have on others. They will make choices everyday which are supported by the seeds planted in them throughout their learning journey. Our students will go into the world and influence. I have seen teachers who transform the lives of students who were following wrong paths and I have seen those students transform the world in a positive way. Every world changer has had an incredible teacher who believed in and supported them.
Short-term– Figure out how many students you have taught and influenced. The next time you interact with your students plan how you will plant positive seeds in their lives.
Long-term– Make it a habit to feel the impact of your role each day you interact with your students so that you can begin planting meaningful and purposeful seeds. Let us know in a blog post, podcast, or video how you actively plant positive seeds in your students’ lives.
- Lisa Dabbs and I have decided to change the hashtag to #30GoalsEdu because we have noticed some sports people using the hashtag. Please make the transition.
- This year we are focusing on 1 to 2 goals a week in order to have time to really reflect on the tasks and respond to each other’s posts and enhance our support system for each other.
Check out my Pinterests for other posts with this goal or ask me to add yours!
Feel the weight of your role as a teacher. This week actively plan to plant positive seeds and reflect on what happens.
Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30Goals, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the GooglePlus page, or adding a comment below!