Many years ago I taught a week-long summer course out of my home to middle school students. There was a 13-year-old boy in that course who so profoundly impressed me. He was extremely bright, deeply compassionate, sensitive to others, open, reflective, and wise well beyond his years. I stayed in touch with him for about one more year, but then lost touch with him.
We reconnected on Facebook, and I invited him to come to my talk at the New York Open Center on February 6 (he’s now a lawyer living in New York). Seeing Marc – now a 30-year-old man – walk in the door was such a treat. He is as bright, wise, thoughtful, and compassionate as ever, and I could have talked to him all day.
When I introduced him to my mother (who also lives in New York and came to the talk), he mentioned that he became vegan at 13 because of what he learned in that course I taught all those years ago and said he’s still vegan to this day.
As an educator, it’s so rewarding to find out that you've mattered to another person, that your teaching has had an impact over the years. We teachers don’t often get such opportunities. When we do, we hopefully remind ourselves that this person before us represents many more we have taught over the years.
So, for all you teachers out there, remember that what you do matters. What you teach has the potential to have a lifelong impact.
Teach with all your heart and soul for a better future and know that there are Marcs out there whom you’ve inspired and helped to be great contributors to the world.
Author of The Power and Promise of Humane Education and Most Good, Least Harm
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