Who inspires your children? As the letter below reveals, my Grandmother helped inspire me to become an educator. Help your children or students find such a person in their own lives, whether living or passed over, whether known personally or understood through books or film. Have them write to this person about what inspires them so. Have them share what they envision for themselves.
It is important to connect in some way with those who can inspire us on our path, and as Ellen Tadd's Framework teaches us, important to align our inspiration with clear vision and the willingness to work hard. Inspiration is the fuel that can take us through the challenges!
Years after my grandmother and mother passed, I was going through some of mom's things and found this letter to my Grandmother, likely written from my apartment in Ithaca, NY while attending Cornell. Clearly, my grandmother's life inspired my own vision of becoming an educator:
Excerpt From a Letter to Grandmother from Maureen, circa 1982:
"Dear Gee-Gee [Grandma Glenna--born Glenna Troy in Washington State, 1897],
...I was talking to someone the other day whom I haven't spoken with in years, and found myself talking all about you--what a treasured teacher you were and are. How students of yours remember you as the best teacher they ever had. After a while, he remarked, 'You're so fortunate to have a grandmother who inspires you so much!' I mentioned in our talk that you had been on your own until the age of 33. Somehow it made us both feel better to think of you starting out after college with so much courage and independence. You never settled for anything less than what you aspired to.
I don't want to compromise either. I want do to what challenges me, what makes me happy, what I find inspiring. I don't know what else to do. It's funny but not difficult to understand that the idea of becoming a teacher is one of the most thrilling things I can imagine. I want to participate in the tradition of my grandmother and mother---one of devotion to education, to learning and teaching..."