When I was a little girl, I would love to watch Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He had this way of creating a community with each and every child who watched his show. In his neighborhood, any viewer could be a part of stories, imagination, lessons to be learned, fun, laughter, and sometimes sad moments too. All children and adults were exposed to these different experiences that would often result in us all thinking a little bit differently about the world around us.
Just the other day, I was facilitating a group discussion with my fellow instructional coaches asking the group to reflect upon a time in our lives when we all had some kind of an authentic learning experience. Some stories shared were from the classroom, others were from other spaces, but most shared were grounded in some kind of emotional connection. It seemed as those many of those experiences really did make us think differently about the world and how we interact with others.
As humans, we have the opportunity to work with all kinds of people from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. What is amazing about education, is that we work with children and adults. This is a unique position to be in because not only can we make an impact on future generations, but we also get to grow compassion, empathy, and kindness with each other. Looking beyond the walls of our classroom spaces, just take a moment to appreciate, build up, and share some positive vibes with our colleagues. Teaching is an art that is fulfilling but can also be hard. Let’s encourage not only our students but also our work-place friends and family.
Think about it, when you jump into the water the impact of your body changes the rest of the pool experience for others. That is the same case with our interactions with others. We truly are on the edge of impact. An impact that can be so powerful and life-changing while having long-lasting effects -- both positive and negative.
What message will you share with your students, with your team, with anyone with whom you interact? What impact will you make and will Mr. Rogers approve?
Mena T. Hill
Educator, Wife, Mother, Colorado Native