I recently attended my son’s 8th grade “Gold N” ceremony. To brag a little, the “Gold N” is awarded to those students who maintained an “A” average throughout their middle school career. One of the keynote speakers was the district’s Teacher of the Year.
Now, this particular teacher is one of those rare individuals who knew what she wanted to do from a very early age. She knew from the time she was still in elementary school that she would be a teacher. Obviously, given her recent award, she was right. Not only did she know what she wanted to do with her life, but she had a passion and conviction that blinded her to any possible obstacles.
She shared a story from when she was 11 years old.
She had managed to collect outdated textbooks from which she would use her spare time to create lesson plans. She also went around to the teachers requesting their excess “Weekly Readers”. Of course, the teachers were more than happy to oblige her request.
So, now, she has textbooks, lesson plans and an abundant supply of “Weekly Readers”. The next obvious step was to build a classroom. She managed to talk her dad into converting part of the basement into a classroom complete with a chalkboard, pencil sharpener, and desks (for any of you dads with daughters, you know there wasn’t much resistance).
So, now she has textbooks, lesson plans, “Weekly Readers”, chalkboard, pencil sharpener, and desks. However, there was one critical piece missing. You guessed it – students. So, this 11 year-old girl with a passion for teaching decided it was time to troll the neighborhood recruiting students. It took a while, but she enrolled her first student, a 6 year-old neighbor girl.
Evidently, her new student thought that her new teacher was the greatest thing ever. That doesn’t surprise me. Think about it. With as much obvious passion as this 11 year-old had, how could you not get caught up in it?!
Anyway, they spent the next few weeks working on subtraction, cursive writing, and I’m sure discussing the most recent “Weekly Reader” article. After many lessons and a fair amount of progress, the young teacher decided it was time to report on the progress. You might think that she wrote up a cute little report card to send home with the student.
Well, you would only be partially right.
She also invited the student’s parents in for a parent-teacher conference. And guess what?! They showed up!! They sat there at the little desks in the basement classroom and listened to an 11 year old “teacher” discuss the progress of their 6 year-old daughter.
How awesome is all of that?! I mean really, think about it. There was every legitimate reason in the world why none of this would have happened, but you know why all of it did? Passion, confidence, and determination.
It was this young girl’s passion to be a teacher, her unwavering confidence in her ability, and her determination to make it happen that caused her teachers to supply her with the necessary teaching materials, her dad to build her a classroom, her 6 year-old neighbor to enroll, and the neighbor’s parents to show up for a conference! Wow!
That was an 11 year old. What about you?
Now, think about what you can do when you can tap into your passion, find your own level of confidence and decide you won’t stop until you succeed. I’m guessing you would be able to attract the resources you need to help your clients, I bet your organization would be more than willing to create the environment for you execute successfully, I’m guessing you would have no problem in getting prospects/clients to listen to what you have to share, and I bet you would be more than anxious to report on what you accomplished.
The right resources, organizational support, prospects/clients, and accountability for what you accomplished added to your own passion, confidence, and determination, and it sounds like a pretty powerful formula to me. If it worked for an 11 year-old little girl, why wouldn’t it work for you?
Photo by misskprimary.