Are You a Difference
I look forward to a new school year, new students, new goals and new
challenges. With the start of a new school year also comes a new football
season. You might be wondering how does football relate to teaching. Well last
year Randall McDaniel was inducted into the National Football League Hall of
Fame. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the draft
in 1988. He played in the NFL for 14 years and was in 12 Pro Bowls. Did you
know he has spent the last 12+ years in education helping students? Yes, 6’3”,
276 pound, offensive lineman, Randall McDaniel is an educator.
Hall of Fame induction speech moved me. When I wonder why I am in education or
if what I am doing is having an impact, I find myself going back to his speech.
He talks about dedication, energy, commitment and passion. He compares teaching
to playing on the offensive line. “Life as an educator is quite similar. You
bring your lunch pail to work and do an extremely tough job, without much fan
fare or glory, and like an offensive lineman you typically go unnoticed, unless
something goes wrong and yet without teachers nothing much would be possible.”
continues, “We need someone to believe in us, to guide us, to teach us. We need
the special people in our lives; who help shape the person we choose to become.
They’re the ones who take the time to see you when you feel invisible, they’re
the ones who believe in you and teach you to believe in yourself. They’re the ones who see the hidden
potential and help you discover it. They’re the ones who dust you off when you
fall and encourage you to give it another try. They are the difference makers
in our lives.”
So as you
begin this year, filled with change and possibility, uncertainty and promise,
will you be a difference maker, a caring individual who can and will make a
difference in someone’s life? Think about the difference makers in your life?
When did you need them the most? Look out in your classroom, in your school, in
your community and ask yourself, “Who needs me the most today?” Imagine the
impact we can have if we begin each day with the thought of being a difference
a few minutes and listen to Randall McDaniel’s 2009 Hall of Fame Induction
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