Shared Passion

The teachers who do it, those who are filled to the brim with the most valiant substance God has given us – they are the truest of teachers. They are the ones who, by nature, teach with a display from inside out. They are the teachers being recognized for there unselfishly “Shared Passion.”

I doubt if most students ever do an analysis of why they like a certain teacher. Sure, they allow how much this one or that one really rocks, but more times than not, the assertion of how much a teacher rocks, or doesn’t rock for that matter, falls far short of the true scope of what the most favorable of teachers brings to the party.

One of the world’s most renowned mentors believed, and I quote:

“Profound responsibilities come with teaching and coaching. You can do so much good – or harm. That’s why I believe that next to parenting, teaching and coaching are the two most important professions in the world.”
– John Wooden, UCLA

End quote.

Few teachers ever experience being idolized by anyone. Community recognition seldom compares to the scope or magnitude of the individual teacher’s accomplishments.

During school time, it’s the student’s report card that shows the significance of the teacher’s efforts. That same report card never displays the written credit: “Student Taught By.”

John Wooden received his proper credits during a lifetime of continued and unequalled successes. To date I have read each and everything written and subsequently published by John Wooden. Admittedly, at the outset, it was because I was a UCLA basketball fan. As time wore on, and my profession as an educator began to reveal itself, noticeable similarities between the “Wooden” doctrines, and those of the people I am privileged to refer to as my mentors became apparent. During his esteemed lifetime, John Wooden was a leader in the truest sense of the word. One of his favorite claims was, “I lead by example.” Wooden felt it took about twenty years in order to fully ascertain whether or not his students had really prospered from his teachings.

If I were able to personally compile all I have gleaned from my “who’s who” list of mentors, one phrase would ring clear as the most common factor describing them: Personification of self truth’s.

The actor, the basketball coach, the teacher, all those who share a professional banner, without discrimination, lead by example and sign on free of deceptiveness; accepting the rigors of being an educator with dedication and courage.

And during a coach’s seminar, Wooden had a favorite quote:

“No written word, no spoken plea can teach our youth what they should be. Nor all the books on all the shelves, it’s what teachers are themselves.”
– Anonymous

End quote.

A yesterday, or many yesterdays ago, a young actor, or perhaps it was an actress, came to me, spieling with a single-minded explicitness. But when they took my hand, it was not a story I heard. It was a “thank you” for the winning report card they’d just received. Allowing for what some called a “hook for words” I had given them, on a page they studied and read.

Each and every day, we teachers are privy to an uncommon exhilaration: We are treated to the wonderment of learning. Without doubt, it is our assignment to educate. Specifically, we are attempting to provide for the professional success of those who come to us as patrons. And though we strive to give out an optimum of information, we never-the-less find ourselves, as actors, coming away with an increased understanding, of our craft and the human condition each and every day we remain as teachers.

A person who has difficulty in extending a helping hand should never be given a teaching assignment. John Wooden referred to it as each day painting a masterpiece. I share his belief.

“Hello. My name is Harvey Kalmenson. I teach voice over. I am and will remain an educator.”

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