I am sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home. I just finished presenting at the ‘Reading For The Love Of It’ conference in Toronto. This is a huge conference with thousands of educators and a multitude of presenters. It is a bustling place, full of enthusiasm and energy.
This is the first moment I have had in a few days to quietly reflect and let the impact of conference events slowly sink into my consciousness. As I sit here and think back on these past few days, chatting over meals with the other speakers and educators in my sessions, I think the one word that comes up more than any other is RELATIONSHIP.
I remember my own experiences of being a student and the special teachers who made me want to learn. Most of all, they made me excited about topics I never even knew I could be interested in. It felt like they were so happy to teach me. This had a profound impact on me.
In particular, I remember one teacher I had in grade 7. I loved her deeply and would find her to chat with (as did all of us!) at recess and lunch. I still think of her often. She had an enormous impact on me and helped me become the person I am today.
She helped me discover and feel that my creativity was important. Thinking about Mrs. Smeastad reminded me of an editorial I read a while back from the Neufeld Institute called ‘My Beloved Mrs. Haskins‘. Have a read.
‘My Beloved Mrs. Haskins’ is a wonderful editorial that speaks beautifully to what special teachers give and the impact they can have on us. It reminded me of the conversations on the importance of relationship in education we were having at the conference.
Being a teacher really is a calling. Our impact on children can be profound. The conference reminded me of this. I felt renewed and energized seeing the passion by the participants in my workshops and the joy in their eyes as they spoke about their students.
Happy to be going home – to my family – and my students!