Inspiration is a powerful tool to help people of all ages move on from difficult or challenging situations. I know I use words and quotes to inspire me to try harder, have a renewed outlook and to stay positive in sometimes negative situations happening in the workplace, family, or the world. It was a week ago when I had the brainstorm driving to my workplace, a fourth grade classroom in an elementary school…it is hitting almost fourth quarter and we are all feeling the stress and anxiety of the approaching standardized test. My brainstorm was to ask each student to select a quote, write in down correctly, and write the name of the person. The quote needed to be personal to them, inspiring, and remind them to finish strong for the remaining part of the school year. I was crossing my fingers behind my back and hoping a few students would attempt the task during their study time on that first day. I modeled the task by taking a card, sharing my quote and excitedly posting it beneath my picture on the front bulletin board. I peeked around the room looking for their reactions and hoping they would take the challenge.
It was close to the end of the day, when Larry came up to me and said, “You know those quotes you told us about, I think I might have one!” “Really, ” I responded slowly, “tell me about it.” Larry continued, “you know how I am researching Yogi Berra, well, there was a quote on his website.” I said, “tell me more.” Larry continued, ” Yogi said, it ain’t over ’til it is over!” I started to giggle and almost cry. Larry had really got it, he understood the challenge in his own way. It reminded me that the year is far from over and every minute counts to the very end. Thanks Larry and even more importantly, Yogi Berra.
The next day another student came up quickly and held up a piece of paper. “What is this?” I asked. “That quote,” she responded. “You know that chapter book you gave me to read, well, can I write a quote that inspires me from the story?” “Oh, my gosh, I couldn’t believe it, my fourth graders were understanding this in a big way!” I thought to myself. “You bet, you can quote from the book,” I smiled at her.
What an inspiring day for a teacher! Sometimes, we just need to give a spark and our students can make a beautiful light. Now we have six beautiful quotes posted on our leadership board. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds in the next few days.