captain my captain.

As teachers, every year we sit through convocation.
It is essentially a grown up pep rally.
We all wearing matching shirts and sit with our schools.
Elementary teachers sometimes do “cheers” and get out their clappers.
High school teachers grumble under their breathe, text on their cell phones and some skip out entirely.
Often the speakers ask us say silly things to our neighbor, or worse. Dance. The speakers are usually good. Have written best selling books and tout a lot about building relationships, positive attitudes, raising test scores. Blah.blah.blah.

And this year, we had another well known speaker. I dreaded it, even though I had bought his book not too many years ago. Because I don’t like being packed tightly in a gym when I have so many things to do in my room. I don’t want another person to tell me how positive I need to be. Or that I can make a difference. And I certainly didn’t want to dance.
I came prepared. With my cell phone, sour attitude and matching shirt. I wondered how much my district had spent to bring this guy in. I mean he has been on Oprah, invited to the White House and Matthew Perry even played him in a movie. I am sure he comes with a hefty price tag. And I couldn’t help but think about how maybe they could have spend that money on kids, supplies or possibly another copy machine.
He started talking. And dancing. And jumping around on chairs. And I didn’t look at my watch once. And yes he said some of the standard stuff about making learning exciting. About energy and engaging and giving kids things they will remember.
But this guy was getting a work out up there. He was funny, crazy, had a ridiculous accent and he had me with his first chair jump. He never made me get up and dance or affirm the person sitting next to me. He didn’t promise that if I followed his method that my test scores would go through the roof. He just told funny stories. Used a lot of hand motions and you could tell that he loved what he did. Loved it so much that he couldn't keep it in if he had to.

And he didn’t change my world. I didn’t rush out and buy another book. I won’t be rewriting my whole syllabus. He didn’t say anything I hadn’t heard before. And I am still not a fan of grown up pep rallies.
When it was all said and done. I had 4 texts that I hadn’t gotten because I forgot to check my phone. I think that maybe energy and passion and how you say things is more important that what you say. That when you are excited and overflowing, people listen. Because they just can’t help it. Whether you are talking about photosynthesis, algebra or Jesus.
And maybe a little dancing and standing on chairs helps.

Bigger Picture Moment

This post is part of bigger picture blogs..........and attempt to find the bigger picture in our crazy week and look for faith along the way. Check out some of the other posts at Melissa's


Melissa said...

I loved this: " and passion and how you say things is more important that what you say."

I would dare to say it's at least as important, though I still love the sentiment! I love the thought though of getting so caught up in someones stories that you loose yourself and track of time.

Thank you for linking up!

Corinne said...

Very cool :) Unanswered texts are always a good sign!

Kate said...

Passion shines. What a wonderful reminder.

Hyacynth said...

A big, resounding, emphatic yes from over here! I noticed the same thing after I went to Curves Convention {we own a Curves}, and I heard Andy Andrews speak. He was so energetic and passionate, that I could not take my eyes off of him. It taught me a lot. I believe his phrase is "Light yourself on fire and run down the street. People will follow." :)
Great moment! Good luck with the start of your school year.

Jade said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing that moment.

Ann Kroeker said...

It makes me tired, though, to imagine keeping up that energy day after day for an entire school year.

I hope that from time to time, one's passion for learning and enthusiasm for a given subject can be effectively conveyed via tone of voice and while seated.

Katie Delp said...

Good post - his school is a couple of blocks down the street from my house.

michelle said...

katie, yet another reason to come visit you :)

michelle said...

katie, yet another reason to come visit you :)