Last year, around this time, I posted about the Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) graduation speech that I planned to share with my gifted 5th graders. I did share it with them, and I intend to share it with my current 5th graders this week. They will go on to middle school next year, and Jeff Bezos says everything I hope these students will remember – much more eloquently than I can ever phrase it.
This weekend, I heard a TED talk on the TED Radio Hour from a different Bezos, Mark, who I assume is no direct relation. Mark is a volunteer fire fighter, and though his story is quite different, I am fairly certain that Jeff Bezos would nod his head in agreement with Mark’s message. One line, in particular, resonated with me, “Not every day is going to offer us a chance to save somebody’s life, but every day offers us an opportunity to affect one.”
And so, this year, my students will view two talks by men named Bezos. As a teacher for 23 years, I have tried my best to “save the shoes” on a daily basis. Before this group of kids move on, I am going to make one last attempt to enter that burning building and grab 16 pairs to dole out to my class. They might just throw them away, or they might slip them on and wear them forever. I will probably never know, either way.