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Teacher Stretch

I recently came across this statement in the book ‘Leadership for Learning‘ by Carl Glickman. I love the sentiment and challenge expressed:

If, as a teacher,

  • I present the same lessons in the same manner that I have used in the past;
  • I seek no feedback from my students;
  • I do not analyse and evaluate their work in a manner that changes my own emphasis, repertoire and timing;
  • I do not visit and observe other adults as they teach;
  • I do not share the work of my students with colleauges for feedback, suggestions and critiques;
  • I do not visit other schools or attend particular workshops or seminars or read professional literature on aspects of my teaching;
  • I do not welcome visitors with experience and expertise to observe and provide feedback to me on my classroom practice;
  • I have no yearly individualised professional development plan focused on classroom changes to improve student learning; and finally,
  • I have no systemic evaluation of my teaching tied to individual, grade/department, and schoolwide goals;

THEN

I have absolutely no way to become better as a teacher.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if we truly to create learning environments which teach children to love learning, to engage creatively with the world around them and to develop the skills needed for them to be successful adults in our ever-changing world, every teacher in every school will need to create a culture of continual learning and a commitment to a growth mindset. There is simply no more place in our schools for teachers who believe that they can no longer adapt their practice through professional learning and feedback.

Glickman also states,

“Successful schools stand in great contrast to mediocre and low performing schools where faculty work apart from each other, and without common purpose, and with self-centered beliefs that they are doing the best they can.” – Glickman, Carl D. Leadership For Learning. 1st ed. Alexandria: Assn Supervn & Curr Dev, 2002. Print.

This is such a powerful challenge and one which those of us working in schools need to take seriously if we are to provide places of dynamic and relevant teaching and learning.

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Its the finishing moment which counts!

2016 sees the 31st holding of the modern Olympic Games. From 5-21 August Rio de Janeiro will host 10 500 athletes participating in 28 sporting codes. Olympic politics and economics aside, the Olympic Games gives the world an opportunity to pause for a moment and appreciate the talent, tenacity and determination of world-class athletes. It is truly a sporting spectacle and I cannot wait for the opening ceremony on 5 August!

One of the flagship events of the Olympic Games is the marathon. It is truly an event of endurance and determination. As the athletes set off on their 42km journey they are fresh and ready to face the road which lies ahead. They are full of hope, some with the dream of earning a medal, some with the promise of finishing the race as an Olympic marathon competitor and the honour which accompanies this accomplishment. As the race continues and the road stretches on for the athletes, some of those who set off with the determination of champions are faced with the reality of the standard of the competition, the performance pressure of the Games, the realisation of their own limitations in the heat of Olympic competition and the moment of decision-making when finishing the race no longer seems possible.

In 1968 John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania faced the agonising decision of whether to akhwariwithdraw from the Olympic marathon in Mexico City. In jostling for position he had fallen hard, injuring his shoulder and partly dislocating his knee. Despite the protestations of the attending medical staff, Akhwari picked himself up and insisted on completing the race. Back at the Olympic Stadium, the medal ceremony had concluded when the crowd became aware of police sirens and a group of police motorcycles surrounding an athlete approaching the stadium. In a mix of walking, limping and attempts at running, John Stephen Akhwari entered the stadium over an hour after the winner had crossed the finish line in front of the few thousand people who had remained behind (see this on YouTube). In what has been described as the greatest last place finish ever, Akhwari demonstrated that it is not the start which determines our place in history, it is the way in which we complete the race set before us. When interviewed after his incredible feat of endurance, he said,

“My country did not send me over 11,000 kilometers to start a race. They sent me over 11,000 kilometers to finish one.”

When our parents choose to send their little ones to join our school at three years of age, they are beginning a journey which will last another 15 years until the day comes when their young man or woman will complete their final day of Grade 12. It is a journey filled with challenges and obstacles and yet it is also a journey filled with exciting opportunities to discover, to learn, to create memories, to develop life-long skills and make friends which will last decades. We are privileged in the primary school to lead our young charges on this journey for 9 years. The pre-primary and primary school road is, in my opinion, absolutely vital to how the remaining 6 years in Junior and Senior High develop. It is in these 9 years that critical skills are developed, curiosity is encouraged and talents are unearthed and allowed the space to grow. The growth of key character traits and attitudes of grit, resolve and problem-solving is encouraged and our teachers provide ample opportunity for personal growth.

Teaching our children to get up when they fall, to live out the truth that it is how we respond to failure and difficulty which determines our success and to develop resilience and grit, is the responsibility of both parent and school. As the guardians of our pupils during their critical pre-primary and primary years, we are committed to ensuring that our pupils finish their scholastic race well-equipped for the life they will lead both in the High School and indeed after Grade 12.

 

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Carpe Diem – Living An Extraodinary Life

This is the address I gave to our school on the occasion of our annual Awards Evening (8 December 2011) :

Carpe Diem

There is a well known poem which begins:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying

The poet, Robert Herrick, reminds the reader that time does not wait for anyone. The poem is in fact an encouragement to young women to get on with it and marry. Times have changed I certainly would tell our young ladies to be patient! However the overall message is one to young people to make the most of their youth and to use every opportunity it brings.

It is this poem which Prof John Keating, played by Robin Williams in the film Dead Poets Society, recites to his young students during their first English lesson of the year. He takes them out of the classroom into a passage where large cabinets filled with historical memorabilia and photographs stand gathering dust. Prof Keating tells his boys to look into the eyes of the young men in the photographs, some of which are obviously very old. He tells them that those young men also had dreams. They also wanted to make something of their lives. He encourages the boys to lean forward to hear the message being told to them by those young men in the photographs – As they lean forward Prof Keating says, “Carpe Diem lads! Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!” (See the clip here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQtmGcdSDAI)

That scene captured my imagination not only as a teacher but as a human being. It reminds me that every day I can make the most of the opportunities which come my way. It reminds me to work on developing new skills, to live each day with passion and meaning. When I focus myself on making the most of every opportunity I am able to grow and develop into the person I was made to be.

Let me offer three ways in which each of us can seize the day and make ourselves extraordinary :

1) Focus on others :
It is very tempting to become caught up in our own drama, our own difficulties, the struggles at work, the difficult colleague who seems determined to sow dissidence in the workplace, financial worries which make sleeping at night a struggle. It becomes easier to deal with these realities when we learn to turn our eyes outwards and focus on the needs of others. It is often when we do that, that we realise how fortunate we are.

It is the beggar on the street corner when you’ve complained about your poor salary, it’s the homeless man under a piece of cardboard when you’re dissatisfied with the size of your house, it’s the paraplegic in a wheelchair when you’ve moaned about a sore leg from having walked around a lot at work, it’s the infertile couple who have tried for years to have a baby when you’re beyond frustrated with your toddler’s tantrum.

Carpe Diem means : Stop! Take a look around you. Be grateful for what you have and be a blessing to others.

2) Find your passion :
Passion needs to be found and nurtured. When we find our passion, we develop confidence to try new things, we are more willing to take risks and we take the road less travelled by.

Passion cannot be faked. It is something which comes from deep within. It has its own energy which propels us forward to new and exciting ventures. We can discover our passion by pursuing that which keeps us talking until the late hours or the subject about which we want to read continually. We learn about our passion by considering those hobbies or activities that we already give hours to without complaint.

Carpe Diem means: Find your passion – pursue it and live it out!

3) Make your life extraordinary :
We tend to think of famous people as those who live extraordinary lives; those who live in the media spotlight as celebrities. While this may well be true, it is also true of the thousands of people who don’t make the headlines but who live lives of significance each day. These are those who diligently apply themselves to the improvement of the lives of those around them and who use their passion to make a difference to the world.

It is these people who live out the “Carpe diem”philosophy – making the most of every opportunity to realise their potential and use it to make the world a better place.

Carpe Diem means : I will be the best I can be and be a difference-maker in the world.

I believe that good teachers teach, great teachers inspire. What they inspire is a desire in children and young people to reach beyond their circumstances, to see beyond the obvious, to learn more about their world with an insatiable curiousity, to ask questions which to other may seem frivolous and most of all, great teachers inspire our children, the future leaders of our country, to seize every opportunity which comes their way to make our world (and theirs) and better place than the one we are leaving them. This generation of young people has the opportunity to seize the day – to grasp the challenges of climate change, to embrace new technologies in positive ways, to seek solutions to the vast difficulties of socio-economic inequalities in our country and on the global stage and to seek solutions for the many conflicts which beset our world.

To make this philosophy easier for our younger audience, here is a video which I would like to share :

So “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may; old Time is still a-flying” – go make your lives extraordinary. You can make a difference in the world!

God bless you all.

 

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What Teachers Make – World Teachers’ Day 2011

Today is World Teachers’ Day – have you hugged a teacher today? 🙂

This poem by Taylor Mali is now a few years on and many have seen it. I still think it is outstanding and worth another listen!

 

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Learning to change – changing to learn (Video)

I love this video which challenges our perceptions of what true learning in the 21st century really looks like. I am challenged to take this message not only to my team of teachers at school but to our parents and wider education community.

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Ideas That Move

Spending time listening to those whose ideas change lives is never going to be a waste of time so I was bristling with eager anticipation at the TEDxCapeTown logostart of TEDxCapeTown last weekend. Having spent many hours being challenged, inspired, entertained and challenged by the many TED videos available online, I was anxious to experience something of the TED experience in-person. I was not disappointed.

Despite an opening by the organisers in which they apologised for what could go wrong before it had (note to conference MCs – never apologise for what has yet to happen; it doesn’t inspire confidence!), the day was extremely well-organised. I tend to be ultra-critical of the small details and there are some aspects of the day which irritated but on the whole, this was an excellent event. There was a tangible sense of excitement and energy in the air as some of Cape Town’s brightest young (and not so young!) minds gathered to share “ideas worth sharing”.

Videos of the talks will be available on the 5th on May so I am not going to expound on each speaker’s input. Rather I would like to share of my learning from a macro-perspective.

I have had almost a week to reflect on the TEDxCapeTown experience and to process the input from the day. There are three major themes which come through for me :

1) People with passion find opportunity to make a difference in their community.

2) People who believe they can, usually do!

3) Hope is alive when ideas are made real.

These three learnings challenged me to think about what I could do differently in both my professional and personal capacities to improve myself and the impact I am making in my sphere of influence.

As leader of a school, I need to apply these learnings to the leadership of my school. How then am I to do this? Here are my thoughts on the application of each “idea challenge” to our school context :

1) People with passion find opportunity to make a difference in their community

Passion is a powerful driving force. It keeps us focused on the task at hand and allows us to persevere through times of struggle. It is also the force which drives us to find solutions for seemingly impossible problems.

Many schools today face serious challenges which threaten their effectiveness and, in some cases, their very existence. These problems range from financial instability, unionised teachers who feel obliged to strike to make a political point, a lack of basic resources to the very real  socio-economic problems of pupils who arrive at school under-nourished or frightened by the violence in their home and community.

Passionate school leaders and teachers will not sit back and accept these realities. They will constantly strive to find solutions so that their pupils may have the best possible opportunities at school. They will work with the community to look for ways in which the people of the community can be engaged in improving the status quo. They will seek ideas to bring a new reality to their school and pupils.

The local school is an integral part of its community and a place where the future leaders and difference-makers of the world spend the vast majority of their hours each day. We owe it to our community and our country to be passionate in our leadership of our schools and to give our energies to finding solutions to those problems which threaten the effectiveness of our teaching and the process of learning.

2) People who believe they can, usually do!

The game-changers of society are those who are not distracted by the nay-sayers or those who choose to see the mountain ahead of them instead of the path leading to its summit.

It is true to say that anyone in a leadership position will be open to criticism by others. In a school context it is the school principal who is the embodiment of the school for parents, community member and education officials. It is he/she who has to spearhead the changes needed to move the school into new, exciting and relevant realities. Changes in curriculum, teaching practice, school policy or indeed any other changes will not always be accepted with open arms by those in the school. Armed with the confidence that his/her plans for change are well-researched and in the best interests of the school, the principal needs to have the courage of his/her convictions to press on. There is a fine line between self-confidence and arrogance and the two are sometimes confused by those who choose to criticise instead of engaging in a positive way.

Many schools have for far too long been too comfortable with the status quo, scared of upsetting education boards, parent interest groups and various other factions. The truth is that if our schools are to be true to their mission of providing children with effective education which prepares them for relevancy in the world, they will need leaders who are prepared to swim upstream at times. They will need leaders who have such a strong belief in their mission that they will do whatever it takes to make their schools models of effective, relevant and dynamic education.

3) Hope is alive when ideas are made real

I remember reading a newspaper article some years ago about a rural high school principal in the poverty-stricken Eastern Cape Province of South Africa who walked several kilometers to school each day and transformed his school from one where hardly any pupils passed their school-leaving exams to one where they managed to achieve a 100% pass rate several years in a row. He inspired his teachers to go the extra mile with their pupils by planting an idea in the school that every pupil had the potential to succeed. His teachers brought in desks and chairs from their homes, photocopied (at their own expense) local newspaper articles for language lessons, came in on weekends and in school holidays and began each day on time. The idea that every child could succeed inspired both teachers and pupils and brought hope to a school where there was none before.

The above example is but one of many in the education sector where an individual (not necessarily the principal) has shared an idea which has kept the hopes and dreams of a school and/or community alive. School leaders are in  unique position to influence adults (parents, teachers, community members, education department officials) and children with ideas that can really “change the world”. This places a huge responsibility on those of us privilege to lead schools. We get to influence the decision makers of today and tomorrow. In how many other professions is that true?

It is our duty to bring to fruition ideas in our school which can change the present and future of  our community. In the midst of political, social and economic turmoil, we need school leaders who keep the hope of a brighter future alive and who inspire others to bring creative, thought-provoking, challenging and game-changing ideas to reality.

I left TEDxCapeTown with the sense that I could do and be so much more. I  have been challenged to focus my energy on the idea that our school can become a beacon in the community – a place where young minds are given the space to create and a community of learning which celebrates different modalities of learning in a far greater way than we have done in the past. I am encouraged to develop our staff to think even more deeply about how we teach and how we can further develop the natural curiosity of the young minds we are privileged to work with. I am inspired to develop in our pupils, staff and parents a knowledge of the phenomenal talent present in our country and to celebrate with them the wonderful place we call home.

The next local TED event is in Stellenbosch – I intend to be there and would love to take some of our staff along for the experience! If you are going to be there, please send a tweet to @artpreston so that we can meet up and share our “ideas worth sharing”!

 

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Stale Teachers Stink!

It seems to me that teachers can very quickly become set in their ways. It becomes easy to haul out files of work done in previous years and simply present it again to the current class. Large files are kept ready to be opened when a particular section of work is to be taught and pupils who catch on to the pattern can score high on assessments as they borrow a book from a pupil who had the same test the year before.

A stale teacher is an albatross around the neck of any school, class or pupil. They either need to be helped to improve or helped to leave.

We can choose to blame the education department, financial woes of the school, the changing nature of society, increased class size or poor school leadership but if we fail to address the issue of outdated, tired and repetitive teachers, we are not really tackling the problem.

Ongoing professional development opportunities, peer review mechanisms and a culture of professional accountability are important factors in keeping teachers fresh and “in the game”. I certainly do not want “stale” teachers in my school nor do I wish this for my own children.

Teachers need to be taken back to the day when they walked into their first classroom and reminded of what that felt like. I encourage my staff to remember the feelings of excitement, wonder and enthusiasm as they started their teaching careers and challenge them to remember why they entered the profession in the first place. Our nation faces serious challenges in the education sector. One area we should not have to worry about is teachers who have forgotten their calling to the classroom!

 

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Lessons From Dr Seuss

Creator of rhymes and of stories spectacular

Used words both rare and in the venacular.

His name was Suess and the books that he wrote

Told tales of wonder and demand a requote.

For the lessons therein have much to remember

From January all the way through to December.

Both children and adults can learn quite a lot

From the Grinch to the Cat to Horton and Yot.

Each one has a lesson right there at its core

It leads us to read even further and more.

So here is the talk that I gave to our school

On an occasion when the need was there to refuel.

I hope you find it both inspiring and useful

And to old Dr Suess be eternally grateful.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

On the occasion of our school’s 2010 Awards Evening – 30 November.

Good evening parents, Board members, honoured guests and pupils.

I am never quite sure what direction to take my Awards Evening address as there is always so much that can be said when there is a captive audience!

In my first year at this school I spoke mainly about how each one of us is uniquely gifted to make a difference in the world in our own special way. Last year I focused on on the incredible role we have as parents in moulding and shaping the young lives in our care.

This year I would like to start by asking a question of the adults in the audience :

“How many of you can remember reading a Dr Seuss book when you were a child?”

Now let me ask our pupils : “How many of you have read a book by Dr Seuss – the author who wrote “Cat In The Hat”, “Green Eggs And Spam”, “Horton Hears A Who” and “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”?

I have fond memories of enjoying the rhythm and rhyme of the rhyming couplets of these books as a little child as first my parents read them to me and then I too discovered the joy of exploring the words.

Who can resist lines such as –

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

or

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not.”

or this one which is perhaps appropriate for this time of year,

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of seomthing he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

One of my favourite Dr Seuss books of all time is “Oh The Places You’ll Go”. This books reminds me that no matter what challenges may lie ahead of me, with the right attitude and with the wisdom to make correct choices, I can succeed.

I believe this is an appropriate message for us as a school as we come to the end of a year which has, in many ways, been a challenging one for staff, parents and pupils.

There are 4 lessons which I would like to share with you this evening from “Oh The Places You’ll Go” which have a bearing on the nature of this occasion and on us as a school community:

1) You have all the basic skills needed for you to accomplish your goals.

During times of difficulty it becomes very easy for us to focus on that which we do not have. We start to believe that we cannot achieve because of our wants. Perhaps it is time for a refocus. Perhaps it is time to start looking at what we do have. Our school has had a tough year, particularly on the financial front, and yet we still have a team of dedicated teachers, a growing sports academy, a full and varied cultural and academic program and a supportive parent body. These are the ingredients for future success and I believe that as we focus on what we do have, we will build strength in our school.

2) Be a leader in your niche by being the “best of the best”.

Our school needs confidently to position itself as the best independent English-medium Christian-ethos school in our community. We need to continue to seek new and innovative teaching methods, build strategic partnerships within the community and strengthen our overall educational product.

3) When obstacles arise, be prepared to overcome them through ingenuity. Evaluate the situation and take action.

We have faced several obstacles this year. In each case creative ideas have had to be sought to overcome them. It would have been much easier simply to give up and wallow in self-pity but we have not done so and I believe we have come out the stronger for it. Solutions have been sought and found and we will continue to work at strengthening our school as we move into 2011.

4) Don’t allow fear to keep you from moving toward your goal.

Fear paralyzes us and keeps us from achieving what we are capable of and as parents giving into our fears may mean denying our children opportunities. Fear of failure, feare of ridicule, fear of what our friends might think, fear of the unknown, fear of the consequences of our mistakes, fear of repeating the mistakes our parents made and fear of our own insecurities can and do prevent us from reaching the goals we have set for ourselves and our children.

We cannot allow fear to be our reality. We need to grasp our reality with both hands, be grateful for what we have and use the opportunities we have been given to their potential. Only then can we achieve the goals ahead of us.

In the book “Oh The Places You’ll Go” we are told,

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Boys and girls, as we celebrate the achievements of fellow-pupils this evening, I want to remind you that each of you has a bright future ahead. You will face challenges – physical challenges, academic challenges, family challenges. No matter the obstacle you face you will have a choice as to how to deal with it. I hope and pray that you will make the right choice and that you will face your obstacles with faith, strong character and a determination to succeed.

Well done to those who receive awards this evening. You have learnt these lessons and are leading the way in showing your peers how to face challenges and grasp the opportunities given to you.

I would like to read the last few pages of “Oh The Places You’ll Go” as a message to all of us tonight – let’s listen then to the wisdom of Dr Seuss:

“All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something

You’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

You’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

That can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go

Though the weather be foul

On you will go

Though your enemies prowl.

On you will go

Though the Hakken-Kraks howl,

Onward up many a frightening creek,

Though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike

And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up of course, as you already know,

You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dextrous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will indeed!

(98 and ¾ per cent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…

Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

Or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So … get on your way!

(excerpt from “Oh The Places You’ll Go”, Dr Seuss, Collins, 1990; orig. 1957)

"Oh The Places You'll Go" by Dr Seuss

Click on the cover to buy the book.


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Let Them Play!

My friend Tim Keller pointed me towards this video from a TED conference. It sums up what for me is the essence of education, particularly at primary school level. There is no doubt that children learn through play. They learn to respect others’ ideas, study processes when they make mistakes, engage with each other when a solution needs to be found.

It occurs to me that in our very ordered school lives, there is precious little time left to play. That old-fashioned idea seems to be left on the sidelines so that we can finish curricula, keep education authorities happy and feel good about “preparing the children for high school”. What are we doing? I refuse to believe that education is simply the transfer of knowledge from one to another. Our pupils need to be learning by doing. They need to be actively engaged in activities that force them out of their comfort zones so that they can learn to think creatively not only about the problems they face but about who they are as individuals. It is never too young to begin this process.

Parents, concerned with grades to “get into the best high schools”, are also to blame. Unneccesary and frankly, short-sighted, pressure to conform to an outdated philosophy of education is hurting our children and will hurt our nation in the years to come. Schools need to be engaged in education our children beyond the textbook and the classroom.

I am not saying for one moment that it is necessary to throw out formal examinations and set curricula. I am calling for an open-minded approach to education. An approach that believes that all children have an amazing ability to learn and grow when left to their own devices. An approach that seeks to guide learning rather than force it. An approach in which teachers are also learners. An approach where children can become “complete” and not just have the ability to obtain good grades. An approach which allows children to make mistakes without fear. An approach that gives pupils an opportunity to reflect on their actions and doesn’t need them to write a story about it!

Come on teachers! Come on principals! Come on parents! Come on education authorities! Isn’t it time for a new day in education? We can have all the techno-wizardry in the world in our schools but that does not make a school progressive. The very essence of our school is our philosophy of education and in the way it is brought to life by our teachers.

Watch this and be inspired :

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The Bridge – Why I Teach

One of my staff pinned this up in the staffroom last term. I did not give much notice to it until today as I was clearing things out busily preparing for the coming term. It really struck a chord with me as it pretty much sums up why I do what I do and why I am so passionate about leading others to do the same. Enjoy!

The Bridge

An old man going along a lone highway

Came at the evening cold and gray

To a chasm vast and deep and wide

Through which was flowing a swollen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim

That swollen stream held no fears for him

But he paused when safe on the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.


“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,

“You are wasting your strength with building here.

Your journey will end with the ending day;

You never again must pass this way.

You have crossed the chasm deep and wide;

Why build you the bridge at the eventide?”


The builder lifted his old gray head,

“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,

“There follows after me today

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

This swollen stream which was naught to me

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

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