Ok. I am going to admit something. This Liberty Mutual commercial elicits an emotional response–not tears, but I find it moving. What a great message it sends–not the insurance part, but numerous people participating in small acts of kindness that make a big difference.
There is a lesson to be learned here–especially for those of us in the education field. We are often looking for high impact strategies, programs and strategic plans that will help us improve test scores and have a positive impact on the lives of students. It is important that we continue to look at the big picture (forest), but not at the expense of the little things (trees).
Think about all of the actions we can take, both in our schools and in our community, that are simple things, but have the potential for significant impact:
- a compliment
- asking a colleague about their day
- apologizing when the situation merits (even to a student)
- a smile
- remembering a student’s name
- donating a turkey so that a family will have a Thanksgiving meal
- participating in a community service project
- picking up a piece of trash (even though it isn’t yours)
The could be a nearly endless list. As a young teacher, I would sometimes get discouraged about the perceived lack of impact I was having on students, but I was given sage advice. Keep doing your job in a manner that shows you care because you can not predict the future impact your actions might have on kids–its often the little things that matter.
As we approach the holiday season, I challenge you to keep searching for educational solutions, but be sure to take time to “forget the forest and see the trees.” It is entirely possible that those little acts of kindness will have a significant and lasting impact on others.