In preparation for the beginning of school the teachers have seen a number of motivational and inspirational presentations. One of the inspirational slide shows I watched today was about a young bagger named Johnny. Johnny was born with Down Syndrome. After listening to a motivational speaker who told all of the grocery store employees to make a difference in people's lives Johnny did just that. Before long his line at the grocery store was three times longer than the other checkers. Why? Because he put his heart into his job. He and his dad spent each evening finding and creating inspirational quotes to give out to all of his customers.
You can watch the slideshow online (It is not creating a link here but I will post it in my links on the side.):
It touched my heart when I watched this. Of course, I did relate to Johnny and I do have a soft spot in my heart for those with Down Syndrome but I was so unexpectedly inspired by him that I spent my day looking for ways to make a difference in my students' lives.
Whether or not I will truly make a difference in anyone's life I have found a renewed sense of pleasure that I thought was gone for good doing an old job. I have put more thought in the preparations for my students and have spent many hours finding just the right things to do and say to them. Taking Johnny's lead I have found inspirational quotes for every day of the first semester, printed off enough for the first week, wrote a two or three line welcome to my 85 students to hand them as they enter my door. If a young bagger with Down Syndrome can transform a grocery store into a caring environment I can at least, try to make my art class a good learning environment.
The inspiration Johnny gives others reaches beyond the grocery store. Today it inspired teachers.