Saturday, August 23, 2014

Teaching in Colour

I have a colleague who often says, "Eat in colour".  She's passionate about healthy lifestyle choices, vegetarianism, promoting ecological activism and so much more.  Last year, in her Environmental Biology class, she inspired her students to make small gestures to bring small change that yields HUGE results.  Some became vegetarian, some lost weight but all understood the impact of their habits and choices.

Inspiration by Example

At the lunch table yesterday, I leaned over to inspect her plate; a salad with rice, beans, kale, peppers and seaweed. (We were at an iPad workshop and of course, she brought her own lunch!)  Today, as I prepared my own version of her salad (minus the seaweed - ugh), I found myself thinking about the power of example and the tremendous opportunity that teachers have to effect change.

Your Words Matter

"Eating in colour"
We might think they are not listening but they are.   As parents we know this to be true.  Our children become adults and one day we hear them speaking and sounding like us.  Our students graduate and then tell us how much our encouragement mattered.  Your words are powerful, especially when they ring with the truth of lived experience, passion and compassion for your students.

Your Actions Inspire

What we do everyday, our actions and behaviour towards students and colleagues matters even more than our words.  As teachers, we know this to be true and have experienced the deep satisfaction that comes with discovering the impact we had on a student's life trajectory.  My colleague, who eats in colour, also lives her life's passion authentically.  Students see that, and while not everyone will be changed by her words or actions, they will all learn about integrity, passion and personal responsibility.   To be a teacher is to have the opportunity to make a difference to students and to eat and live in colour.