While waiting for Doris Kearns Goodwin to come out on stage to talk to the large crowd of educators gathered in the ballroom at the DC Convention Center, a video started. I don't even recall who made the video to give them credit. But one aspect of the movie is still playing in my head.
A teacher was having his students work collaboratively on a project in the video. He then states: "There comes a point when I am no longer needed. My students are engaged...I can sit back and watch....my goal is to have students who are confident and excited... the by-product is increased knowledge."
I got to thinking, I have had those moments as a teacher. My classroom is buzzing, all are engaged, all are working together. I am not needed anymore. I acted as the catalyst and now they are in motion.
I got to thinking, I have had those moments as a mom. Days and weeks go by and I might not talk to my two twentysomething girls. They confidently are living their daily lives. I acted as their catalyst and now they are happily in motion.
In both instances, both return to me often to ask purposeful questions. Because of the environment I've created at school and at home, all know they can come ask me anything. All feel comfortable asking. They know I'll listen. They know I'll offer suggestions. They know in the end, they are still deciding.
I got to thinking, I have had those moments when I am not needed at all and I have had those moments when my students and my girls articulate their thinking in the presence of someone who will listen and offer valuable feedback. I am that person!
Viewing the video on Saturday reminded me of the importance of all aspects of no longer being needed.