I don't think I've felt this good since I found out from a group of third graders that I rock the world. This week I have had three amazing days in classrooms. The first two were in 7th grade math. On Monday, I got the impression that some of the students couldn't do the math because they didn't believe they could, so Tuesday morning I wrote one of my favorite sayings on the board. If you think you can't, you're right! I told them that the first step in accomplishing anything is to believe you can do it; if you don't believe in yourself, you will fail. I told them I believed I could become a distance runner at age 40, and I did. I believed I could take my first college class at age 50 and become a teacher, and I did. I believed I could run a half-marathon at age 55, and I did. I urged them to look at things that challenged them and say, "I think I can!" I don't know the exact words I heard from one girl in the back because I was so overwhelmed by the meaning. She said something to the effect that starting today she was going to have a whole new attitude about life and she was adopting my saying as her motto. Wow! I have had a lot of positive responses to my Can Do spiel but never one that touched me so profoundly.
Today I got a call to teach in a 3rd grade class where I have subbed before. Before school started, I walked out of the classroom and down the hall. I said hello to a boy I passed, and he responded, "Hello, Mrs. Downing." He continued down the hall, and I thought I heard my name again, so I turned around. He was excitedly telling his classmates, "We get to have Mrs. Downing today!" I knew right then it would be a very good day. It was.
I don't have my own classroom yet, so until I do I am going to continue enjoying every day I have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children. Teachers can change the world, one student at a time.