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What if Responsibility, Respect and Resilience were the new Reading, Writing and Arithmetic?

As students hurry back to school and my own daughters are diving in to their 8th grade and Freshman year of high school, I am reminded of a little informal survey that I conducted a few years ago. Polling teachers I knew and encouraging them to share with other teachers as well, I wondered.... If you could teach your students anything, without concern for regulation or requirements, what would that be? What are the lessons that would be most beneficial to them as they being their journey though life?

While the poll was highly unscientific, I think the responses were priceless.

"I want my kids to know compassion and what it means to think about other people before they act.  I want them to be life long learners and be able to think for themselves and love doing it.  I hope that my students develop and continue to have a passion for knowledge and thrive on the quest it takes to get there." ~ Idaho teacher

"Lessons in listening for starters.   Lessons in questioning.  Lessons in conflict resolution." ~ Montana teacher

"Don't be afraid to try something new. We learn from failure. Failure is a positive thing, when we learn something from it." ~ North Dakota teacher

And one of my favorite from a North Dakota teacher....

"I feel that people need to learn how to maintain a positive attitude no matter what the situation.  There are going to be an overwhelming number of times in a person's life when everything will seem to fall apart but maintaining an attitude that allows you to see the silver lining in the situation will allow you to intern maintain hope.  And that hope for something better in life will inevitably allow you to see the doors of opportunity that you didn't know where there in front of you.  Being a positive person will lead to wonderful things - most of them on a small, day to day basis but all of those small blessings will add to a beautiful life."

I am grateful to all of those hard working teachers out there, striving to make this world a better place, and our children better people. As those of us venture on our own journey though life, perhaps we too can learn from these teachers and discover those small blessings we are given each day.

Remember that you too, are a powerful teacher, not only in your words, but in the example of the life you live. Go out there and be positive, count your blessings and create a beautiful life!

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