I found this an interesting concept to ponder over. “ I exist because I act to change the world in bits and instalments, I leave a part of myself in every bit that I touch”.
I don’t think consciously you go about with that in mind. It would be weird thinking this morning I am going to mow the lawn and that act will change the world in some way. It will keep the grass under control, it will make me feel better now my yard is tidy, and the clippings will fertilise the earth.
I think it is best to look in hindsight and see where this applies.
As a teacher, I did stand in front of a lot of kids during my 39 years as a teacher. Some I remember fondly some I struggle to recall their names let alone their faces. I’m sure I was more than forgettable to many as well. Let’s face we cannot ever satisfy or please everyone.
It’s in the years after a student went through that you might hear from them. One fellow we engaged in performance went on to make a career for himself in music theatre. He performed in some of the best-known shows all round the country. Some years ago he did a one-man show, and during a performance in our local area he paused to tell his audience he was grateful for the opportunity I gave him while a student to get started in performance.
I guess you could say I left a positive mark on him.
I don’t think at any time I thought of myself as changing the world. Rather I saw my role in education as giving my students opportunities to explore themselves and whatever topic we might be studying. In the end, I hoped they left school with positive memories of their school years. I developed this attitude after working in a country school where so many kids came from families where education had not been a positive experience. I did my bit to change that attitude.