This week I’m heading to San Jose, CA to speak at the new “Your Can Heal Your Life” day with Louise Hay, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, and Caroline Myss. It should be an amazing event and you can learn more here. We’ll also be coming to New York and Seattle. Be sure to visit my schedule page here for more details.
Come join me in Phoenix, AZ (while I turn 50!) at the “Celebrate Your Life” conference from 11/13-11/15. I’ll be joined by some of my favorite teachers – Debbie Ford, Brian Weiss, Wayne Dyer, Iyanla Vanzant, Byron Katie, Elizabeth Lesser, and others. For more info (and to take advantage of the early bird special that ends on 9/15), visit here.
p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.
Topic of the Week:
Teach Your Children Well
As the new school year begins here in the states (and memories of the old “going back to school” days get triggered as a result :), I thought it timely to rebroadcast a prior newsletter about teachers. I wrote this after witnessing an exchange between a former student and her teacher. Here’s what happened…
While preparing to begin a workshop in Denver, I noticed two women having an intense and animated conversation in the front row. After speaking to them, I found out that the younger woman had been a 9th grade student of the older woman more than 20 years before! It was an amazing coincidence that they found each other and it gave the younger woman a chance to share her gratitude for the powerful impact this teacher made on her life.
Watching their interaction reminded me of the profound effect teachers can have on our future and it prompted a discussion with several friends this week. It’s clear that long out of the classroom, many of us still recall and reflect on the lessons of our greatest teachers. For example, my friend Bruce was so grateful to his 4th grade teacher for encouraging his love of acting, that he sought him out 10 years later to thank him. They struck up a friendship that’s still going strong today.
My husband Michael had two teachers (with great names!) who really made a difference in his life. His third grade teacher, Miss Fortune, always made a big deal out of the accomplishments of her students. She would acknowledge a job well done by bringing the student to the front of the class, or by offering small prizes as an incentive to go above and beyond her expectations. She also integrated fun with learning by using a variety of games as teaching tools. Michael’s high school teacher, Mrs. Lovely, always cknowledged the uniqueness of his writing and artistic abilities by her willingness to step out of the normal class curriculum and give Michael special projects that allowed him to develop his talents even further.
My 8th grade teacher, Miss Green, stands out as someone who deeply influenced me. Miss Green loved stories. Books like “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” or “The Catcher in the Rye,” and plays like “Macbeth” came to life because of her passion for literature. She kept a filing cabinet stuffed with paperback books, and she challenged me to read one book a week. I look back at Miss Green as the person who, by her love of reading, ignited my passion for books and writing.
In every conversation about memorable teachers, there were a couple of themes that made their work special and effective. First, influential teachers have an obvious love for what they do. They’re able to draw students into the learning process through a passion for their subject. Next, effective teachers always set clear boundaries about expectations of learning and behavior. This ability to be loving and firm was an important ingredient to their success.
Consider the most influential teachers in your life. Maybe it wasn’t a grade school teacher but a high school coach or college professor. How did they shape who you’ve become today? What door did they open for you? Have you ever thought about contacting him or her to say thank you?
Taking the time to acknowledge our most influential teachers does several things. First, it encourages them to continue to do what they do best. Second, it gives them some much-needed appreciation at a time when teachers are often taken for granted. And third, revisiting the early days of our dreams and the people who helped forge them can be a great way to reconnect with the creative energy that may lead you to a new, exciting place in your life.
Take a few moments to think about the teachers who have touched your life in some special way. Then, consider this week’s challenge…
Take Action Challenge
This week, join me in thanking a teacher. Whether you send a note to an influential teacher from your past, call a friend or loved one engaged in the profession to acknowledge their contribution to society, or send a small gift to a teacher who has taken special care of your child, take a moment to put a smile on the face of someone who does so much.
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