Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Glass Half Full

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. In my heart, I know I appreciate our teachers everyday, but I do like these kinds of special recognition times because they tend to “force” me to think about things a little deeper. So, when I was thinking of a teacher I’ve had in the past who has made an impact on me, I thought of my 4th grade elementary school teacher. The thing I remember was what she taught us one particular day. The lesson I fondly remember, and treasure to this day, was about the way we look at things, our “outlook”. My teacher explained the expression “glass half full or half empty”. When you see a glass of water that is filled halfway, do you think it is half empty or half full? She told us to think about it. Then she explained that when we see the glass as half full we have an optimistic outlook vs. half empty we have a pessimistic outlook. I remember I felt proud because I thought the glass was half full. From that point on, it is something that has been ingrained in my mind.

Something else about this story that I fondly remember was being at my dad’s restaurant later that day. I was sitting at the counter on a stool and asked my dad to fill a glass of water half way. I wanted to give my dad the test. I asked him if he thought the glass was half full or empty. He answered, “half empty”. Right when he said that, I remember feeling the immediate need to explain to him why it’s important to think of the glass as half full instead. He smiled at me and said, "OK". It was so cool to me that I taught my dad something that was meaningful to me.

This little lesson from elementary school is one that to this day, I cherish and remember. To me, it’s just another confirmation that the impact that teachers have on their students is great. We as teachers have opportunities to inspire our students and make a difference for them. Some of the lessons in the classroom that are meaningful to students may not be covered in standards and assessments, but they still signify a lot. Things that we say to our students matter. How we make them feel matters. It all counts. What we do as teachers has an effect, and it may not be apparent today, but the effect is there.

“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.”~Author Unknown