You ask any teacher why they became a teacher and the responses may vary from “I like kids”, I want to make a difference”, “I love helping students learn” and so on. Some even add all of the above to their reasons. For me it goes one step further. Teaching a person is a privilege. A gift that has been entrusted to me.
For many people teaching is what they can give students alone. For me, its is also what my students can enrich me with. Each and every child has something to share. Some naturally “fit into the norms and expectations”. Others, take longer to fit in. Some appear to never fit in. But all that tells me is that we haven’t looked close enough. That we haven’t allowed for enough avenues in our classrooms to let them shine.
I recently was introduced to a little 7 year old boy by the name of Dylan. Dylan is what I call “top shelf material”. Top shelf goods are the ones that were stored on the top shelf in corner store because they were so priceless and rarely found anywhere else that you needed to put them out of everyday hands reach. They weren’t found just anywhere.
Dylan is an amazing little boy. Dylan spends his days designing, modelling, researching and creating. Big words for a little boy of 7 but that is what he does. Dylan is a LEGO master builder. The photo in this post is of a boy’s creation called the “Running With The Dinosaurs” based on the running of the bulls in Spain. Yes, a 7 year olds creation! Most 7 year olds are still hearing about the words dinosaurs and bulls letting alone associating a cultural event with a LEGO making skill.
So as a teacher, I would see it as a privilege to be a part of Dylan’s world. This amazing little human being could have been anywhere on the planet. Instead, he is sharing a classroom with a teacher on a daily basis. This is where I see my role as a teacher being enriched by my students. Imagine having a 7year old artistic, problem solving little boy like Dylan in your classroom every day. Imagine the conversations you could have with him and the people he could influence. He is a creative engineer..yes, a creative engineer!
Dylan, I hope you know you are more precious than gold, a very, very special, amazing little human being! If I were your teacher and I had students like you in my classroom, I would consider myself the luckiest teacher on the planet.
Please note that this post was written with full permission from Dylan’s mother.