As both a high school teacher and professional development for adults I’ve learned to see beyond what others may or may not want to notice about their potential. I know that sometimes it is hard to see the possibilities in ourselves and I understand that, believe me, I do! One of the most reward things about teaching, that I think most all teachers will agree with, is the joy you get when you see that potential and then you to watch it grow into something great! I’ve always heard that saying “Aim for the moon and if you miss you’ll still be among the stars” but when you think about it the moon is a different distance for everyone. Sometimes in education you will see where people will try to lump students into groups and set their “moon distance” for them. Some students will hit the stars, other will hit the moon, while others will only jump about 3′ off the ground, but they will do so in excitement and joy for what they just obtained! I think everyone’s “moon distance” is adjusted to different heights, whether it is set by someone else, their motivation, their determination, their physical ability, their mental ability, etc… how do to know what “moon distance” is best for you? What are you motivations and determinations in life? Do you have “disabilities”? (Although I must say, I agree with a former student of mine, a Leukemia Survivor, who told me that he was not handicap but rather handicapable!) How can you make those into strengths?
I wonder if some of us are shooting too far…. while others are not shooting far enough. Not to tear down a student’s dream but I’ve have 5’2″ students tell me that they are going to play in the NBA. Of course, I say “that’s wonderful, you can be like Muggsy Bogues!” and then the student will always look back at me and say “who’s that”. Then you have the opposite, I’ll have a student that has such great potential and I truly can see them go far in this world and they are okay with getting by.
I guess the long of the short, here’s my question: with YOUR strength, knowledge, abilities… what are you shooting for and how do you know your “moon distance”?