Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Afternoon Inspiration

You made it!  Another week down.  Twelve to fifteen to go?  Depending on where you work.  I'm usually drained on a Friday afternoon, maybe you feel the same, but it's the good kind of exhausted.  Sometimes you get burned out, sometimes you give too much, sometimes you just want to quit.  But I hope that at least today, you know that you've given all that you've got and all that you've given will be taken by your students, carried out into the world, and multiplied as they take their lessons from the classroom into life.

In college, a friend of mine argued that "Levar Burton is the most influential man in America."

"What!?  The guy from Star Trek with the cool glasses?"

"Yes, but no.  The same guy, but not because of Star Trek.  It's Reading Rainbow."

"It's a kids show."

"Exactly.  Levar Burton has the attention of so many kids every day when they get home from school.  If he wants to make a difference, he's in a greater position than anyone else in America to do it.  He influences the minds of a generation of youth."

Maybe not exactly an "expert opinion", but the conversation has stuck with me for over twenty years.  Every day I influence the minds of a generation of youth.  Probably more than 100 kids a year care more about what I say than the President.  Decisions that I make every day will impact the quality of life for over 100 kids more directly than legislative decisions.  One hundred children-citizens of my county will learn from me whether they can name the members of our school board or not.  Lot's of people can claim that they are "in it for the children" but I'm in it so deep that my contribution can be measured.

So while I will hope that this Friday night will allow me to slip into the "comfy clothes" at an early hour and find the bed before ten.  I also appreciate the fatigue.

This weekend I will not rest from the exhaustion of last week.  I will rest to prepare for the next.

Happy Friday from the Teaching Underground.


  1. That show was on that long?! Amazing. Funding PBS is probably one of the best things that corporations did(do). To be honest I never really liked reading rainbow...probably because those kids that came on and told us about books they read. I think I resented that, or maybe was just jealous. I usually turned the channel when they came on(and I mean physically got up and turned the channel). Funny cause I liked Burton's part of the show. Seemed he spent a lot of time in parks? I forgot about this show. Guess I thought they were riding Sesame Street's or The Electric Company's coat tails, or maybe I thought they just trying to trick me into reading. Yuck! I always preferred the Bloodhound Gang to the kids in Reading Rainbow. In the end it is all about which theme songs stuck with me. "Whenever there's trouble we're there on the double..."

  2. Reading Rainbow was great! So is your blog!
    As a future teacher (I start my student teaching next semester), I can't wait to get into the classroom so that I can interact with and be a positive influence on students. I believe it was Socrates that said, to make a difference, one should focus on the "private station" instead of the public. Teachers can make a big difference in small ways. Being a teacher won’t make me famous and it won’t give me a platform for making huge global changes, but it will give me the chance to influence many lives in a small way. In the end, that amounts to quite a lot!