What did I learn at convention this year? I wouldn’t say it had so much to do with curriculum but it was an important lesson nonetheless.
David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber, reminded me to be satisfied with what I have and not always longing for more. He spoke of the common lament for more stuff which seems to plague our society. Craig Kielburger, founder of Free the Children, reminded me to appreciate all we have and inspire our students to develop an attitude of service towards others. General Rick Hillier, former general for the Canadian Forces, reminded me to be appreciative of this great nation we call Canada: our safety and security, our health care system and our freedom. Kaitlin Roig, a teacher who survived the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, reminded me how lucky we are to go to school and return home safely each day.
Though these four speakers come from diverse backgrounds and life experiences – an economist, a social activist, a former chief of defence and a first grade teacher – the underlying message is one of appreciation.
As we walked to the truck at the end of convention – walking briskly to limit the time in the wicked wind – we passed a man whose home is the streets. As I climbed into the truck, again I felt blessed and appreciative of all we have. I do not have to find shelter from the cold each day, I do not have to worry about stepping on a land mine, I do not have to fight for education or health care and I do not have to worry excessively about the safety of my students.
Lesson learned? We are truly blessed.