November 25, 2017

Turning Students into Heroes by Lillian Sanderson

image from how stuff works

The news has been covering the exploits of the Navy Seals since the events in Pakistan last week.  Their skill and training have been getting well deserved praise.  One aspect of these heroes I have not seen addressed has made me curious.  Someone had to teach them to be confident and cautious; bold and detailed; and how to be trusted with a secret.

I suppose that the Naval Academy instructors are Supermen with knowledge of all the weapons and devices used in combat.  But before the men and women get accepted to a military academy, in order to even be in the running for an elite group such as the Navy Seals, some amazing personal development must take place.

I want to know about the parents and teachers of these young heroes.   I wonder if some teacher happened to notice a shy boy that could use some confidence and put him in charge of a class project.   I can picture that spark of assurance in his abilities growing from that point in his life.

Haven’t all of us, as adults, thought about a defining moment in our school experience?  Some people have a negative memory that dampened their spirit; some had a dark time made lighter by a generous hug.  Some had an assignment entrusted to them that they completed better than they thought possible.

Think about the first time you got to lead your class in a song.  Maybe you were offered a major part in a play when you only expected to be in the background.  Perhaps your drawing was the one picked for the art show; or your poem published in an anthology.  There are many chances to succeed that can be offered  a child.

Too many students in a class make it nearly impossible to give that special attention they each deserve.  More kids vying for the attention of one adult makes it less likely they will each get their chance to be the star.   Hopefully the current financial problems in our schools will be corrected and not discourage good new teachers.  Our future truly depends on the skill and training of those who teach our children.

When we see young people like these Navy Seals at the top of their game, I think it is important to remember how they became what they are today.  They can thank their parents, teachers, and community; and we can thank them for their service and sacrifice.

It is all connected and it is each of our responsibility to light a spark in children to allow them to see their potential!  They are, after all, our future!


Lillian Sanderson is a midwestern mom of five grown children and a grandmother of ten.




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