You might wonder when you first start watching this video why I would choose to put it on an education blog. But hang on for the last line, and you will understand. Even though this is a phone commercial obviously aimed at parents, the message definitely applies to teaching as well.
For more inspirational videos for teachers, check out this Pinterest Board.
If you never had a chance to listen to “This I Believe” on NPR, then you have been missing out. Although the series does not air any longer, you can still access many of the recordings, and there are books available as well. The best way to describe these personal essays is this paragraph from ThisIBelieve.org: “This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division.”
You can find recent recordings from the show here. The appropriateness of the recordings for school depends on the age-level of the children. I have used pieces of the “This I Believe” high school curriculum originally provided through NPR with my 5th grade GT students.
The other day I bookmarked an intriguing Tweet from Drew Frank (@ugafrank) about a “This I Believe” video created by a student for a class. I finally had the chance to view it last night, and I was blown away by the message and creativity. The student’s name is Kasey Tamamoto, and her video is definitely appropriate for all age levels. As soon as I viewed it, I knew it would be the subject of today’s post. There seem to be quite a few of these videos on YouTube. I haven’t watched them yet, but I bet there are some other exceptional examples as well.
I absolutely love this video posted by Google in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week:
Here is Google’s message on the YouTube page: “Thank you to the millions of passionate teachers who inspire curiosity in their classrooms…lesson after lesson, unit after unit, year after year. We’re fortunate to have had many of you in our lives, and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring because of the work you’re doing today.”
And, please, as we spend this week appreciating our teachers, consider how fortunate we are to have the educational system we have in the United States and many of the other countries around the world. In yesterday’s post, I asked for help in righting an injustice which is rampant in several regions where students, particularly girls, risk their lives to receive an education. I would be grateful if you would spread the word about this post, and what steps can be taken to right this wrong. #BringBackOurGirls
Regular readers know that my Friday posts are usually reserved for less serious matters – Lego masterpieces or April Fool’s Day fun, for example. But I’m going to deviate from my typical Phun Phriday post today.
Dudley’s video reminds me of another video that I’ve mentioned on this blog – presented by Mark Bezos. Both videos remind us that we often change lives without realizing it – that our small gestures can sometimes make a surprisingly huge difference.
Kyle Pace’s article and the “Lollipop Video” resonated deeply with me because I had just experienced my own “Lollipop Moment” the day before.
On Wednesday, my 4th grade GT students were doing a Multiple Intelligences activity that began with them circling any career that appealed to them on a page of suggestions. I walked by one student, and noticed that he had circled “Teacher” (and written “GT” next to it), along with several others – including “Lawyer.” I smiled at him and said, “You know teachers don’t make nearly as much money as lawyers.”
“I can tell you don’t do it for the money,” he said. “You love your job.”
The other students around him chimed in that they could tell I love my job, too.
They had no idea, but those students just gave me enough fuel to last at least another decade of teaching.
As teachers, we often find ourselves passing out many “lollipops” that seem to go unnoticed and unappreciated. It’s hard to tell ourselves that we are making a difference even though we might never witness the positive effects of our efforts. So, when students or parents, or anyone in the community, hand us our own “lollipop,” it goes a long way.
I told that student how much his comment meant to me, and I also e-mailed his mother.
The thing is, we need to not only pass out our own lollipops, but thank the people who give them away. We also need to stop believing that it is only the grand gestures made by a small percentage of exceptionally talented people that change the world. Normal people living everyday commonplace lives do far more to make this world a better place.