Each year I can look from my window and see the tractors pull into the fields. They cultivate and prepare, plant the seeds and add fertilizer to help the crops grow. I watch as the corn and beans grow. They reach tall into the sky.
Soon it is time for the buses to make their way by as the students get in line. They pass through the doors as teachers plant the seeds of learning and wisdom. It is the teacher who is the catalyst in causing the seeds of learning to combust to grow.
In science, we learn about chemistry and the reactions that happen. An example is if you light a match in a room with hydrogen gas and oxygen gas, there will be an explosion. Looking at this sentence, we can identify that the match was the catalyst. If we did not have a flame from the match, there would not have been an explosion. In education, the teacher is the catalyst that causes the seeds of learning to combust. Just like farmers are the catalyst for the seeds that combust for plants to harvest.
How are you a catalyst? One of the most critical attributes of a leader or teacher is the belief in those they serve. Just recently, I shared a conversation with a young lady I had as a fifth-grade student. We had the opportunity to share three additional years as we moved together to middle school. Kellen shared this with me: I would like to thank you for believing in me and never giving up on me, especially when you knew my hard times! One thing I can say about Mrs. Brenda Yoho is SHE NEVER GAVE UP ON any OF HER STUDENTS!
Kellen reminded me in her email of three words I also often said I had forgotten: Achieve, Believe, and Succeed. She is a beautiful girl with a smile so bright it always hid the struggles she faced. I can remember taking her shopping for a dress, sitting at her house with her and mom, and then singing for her classmates. She has beautiful memories of all of this, and I am thankful for this time with her.
To be a catalyst in what you do, try these things:
- Hold yourself to high expectations to become excellent in what you do.
- Communicate high expectations to meet objectives and goals.
- Be persistent until everyone is successful in reaching these goals.
- Provide a foundation for continued learning and growth.
Modeling appreciation for all as we continue to learn, grow, and sometimes fail is the best way to harvest results. Mistakes are going to happen, and we always take them as part of the learning process.
Our limitations are those we place on ourselves. After exchanging messages with Kellen, I was reminded to look at the previous themes I had used. Dream, Believe, Dare and Do! Failure is not an Option! Imagine the Possibilities! Recipe for Success! These are just a few! Constantly reminding staff, students, families, and community it is our mindset that makes a difference and the help of the catalyst to push to harvest the best results!