"Do you play basketball?"
"Would you touch the ceiling for us?"
"Can you dunk a basketball?"
I have heard at least one of these comments almost every day for the last 20 years.
From ordinary people where I work and live.
From people in the grocery store that need help getting something off of the top shelf.
(Happens to me all of the time, by the way!!!)
It's incredible to me ... because I don't even view myself as being tall ... working with elementary students all day. Usually, I'm sitting at their level, and it really isn't an issue. The only time I think about it is when I see myself in a picture or on video. Then, I say to myself, "Wow, I'm pretty tall."
Those people that are around me all of the time ... don't even view me as tall anymore. It's just who I am.
Yes. I am tall.
Yes. I did play basketball. (Now, I'm a referee).
Yes. I have touched the ceiling upon request.
And yes, I can dunk the basketball (and have done so many times... ever since the eighth grade).
Does that make me who I am, though? Not even close.
We, as teachers, have a responsibility that is so powerful... to help these students find who THEY are. Who THEY'RE going to be.
What they're going to do in life.
I know what I'm called to do.
Before I became a teacher, I thought it was to dunk a basketball on a court in front of a lot of people. I thought I was going to the NBA. I thought I was going to be a professional athlete. Obviously, that didn't happen.
Now, I know that my special gift is to serve others, so that they can serve others, so that they can serve others, etc., etc., etc.
It just so happens that I can dunk a basketball, too... which is a pretty cool thing to do, by the way.
Therefore, I have a basketball hoop in my classroom, and make it a part of our day. We shoot baskets, have a good time, and the kids really enjoy it.
What's your special gift?
Do you embrace it in your class? Or do you shy away from it?
Leave me a comment, and I would love to hear what YOUR special gift is (besides teaching).
My advice to you: Embrace who you are, and let your students know. Then, they'll show you THEIR special talents.
That's even cooler than dunking a basketball.