A Teacher’s Impact Goes a Long Way

Taking a final look over Twitter before going to bed, I came across a simple and thought provoking tweet from Rik Rowe about serving. Instantly I sat up and bed and started thinking about the blessings I have in my own life.

  • My wife.
  • My daughter.
  • My job (good and bad days).

The fellowship we just had earlier that night with friends who came over to our house.

Reflecting on my life, personally, I am given blessings around me everyday, but many of my students are missing the things which I treasure.

  • Missing parent (mother or father).
  • Siblings which they are responsible for most of the time.
  • Limited money in their family

The real present on the list to Jolly ‘old Saint Nick

Days are hectic and the phrase “your plate is full” has turned into your “pallet is full.” But that doesn’t matter to your students. They are going through life thirsting for things which cannot be found in a textbook. Students want to be loved and trust someone (and it might be you their teacher).

Constantly, I am focusing on my family and my loved ones that I might overlook some of the true needs in my students, love and compassion.

Love goes farther than you’ll ever know

This afternoon I overheard a conversation with my colleague who got a phone call from an old student. Hearing the child’s name, I cringed. It was the name tossed around negatively at the lunch room. The one who came from a broken home that was saturated with illegal drugs. In an after conversation another colleague even joked whether this was his “one call from jail.”

I waited until the others left and asked how the former student was doing. With a deep sigh, I learned the saturated house of drugs had gotten the best of him and heroin had turned him into a person he never wanted to be. As the story talked about the dark path the young man was walking, I listened intently waiting to learn of the great turn around.

Maybe he got into college.

Maybe he landed a great job.

But my waiting brought a much gloomier response.

The boy had lost his entire family and was deemed homeless, but all he wanted was to talk with someone he trusted, his teacher. I felt ashamed of my colleagues after hearing the unfortunate trials the boy is going through because I remember behind the rough edges was a talented young man. My colleague offered him some advice and encouraged him to a pastor in the community where he was “staying.”

As some of our students are going without this Christmas, I challenge anyone to be thoughtful of their words and actions to their students. Only He knows the great impact you have serving your students daily.



About briancookeducator

Husband, Daddy, teacher, #Mountaineer, coach, and aspiring school leader | Thoughts are my own.
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