Recently, I had the privilege of being in a room with more than 20 teachers to demonstrate Lectio. I saw this as a huge opportunity to share an important message.
When my first son was born, it was a magnificent experience. The birth experience was everything I had hoped for—a little longer than I wanted, but glorious nonetheless. Part of what made it so amazing was my nurse, Sara Napier. I will never forget her.
You see, I had planned a natural birth and natural births were not something that all nurses enjoyed. In fact, my doctor was known having patients who selected natural birth. The legend goes that some nurses would check her cases before taking them on, peeking in the file to see if there was a birth plan in there or not. It’s fine. Not everyone has to agree with my choice for natural birth—it’s not for everyone and I say that without judgment.
Sara picked my case. She saw the birth plan and was excited. She was amazing. She knew everything I needed even before I did. I still remember her calming voice and her encouragement. She really believed I could do it. When I felt like giving up, I would look at her and all the sudden realize, “I can do this.” She gave me strength.
A few hours after his birth, her shift was over and she transitioned off while a new nurse joined in. Her attitude was not as supportive. She was rough with my baby, and me. She was annoyed when I asked questions and very short with her answers. Finally, I reminded her, “I know this is what you do every day, but this is my first baby.” She changed her attitude, at least a little. She had clearly forgotten the power of her position.
It’s sometimes hard to remember when we are caught up in our daily grind that we can make a difference in someone’s life. Teachers are a great example of this. They work so hard: the planning, teaching, grading, district responsibilities, testing, meetings and more. It’s an admirable profession to say the least. And my guess is, it’s easy to forget what a powerful position it is. Teachers have unlimited opportunity to really change a student’s life.
It was a teacher—and a principal—who saved my son. He had given up, didn’t think he could do it or deserved to succeed. And, honestly, after several very rough and exhausting years, I was right there with him. But a teacher took my child and reminded him he mattered. He was capable and worth the effort.
The important message is try to remember every day, amidst the chaos and continuous demands of the job, that you have the power to change a life—one child at a time. It won’t be every child; it won’t even be most children. But for the one child that you do connect with, it will make a lifetime of difference.