I remember sitting in the back of a huge auditorium at my church in St.Catharines, Ontario. The Global Leadership Summit was about to begin. The screen displayed a colourful countdown clock, and the music was bumpin’ as people flooded into the auditorium. I scanned the room. I was the youngest person there, and the youngest by a lot. I wasn’t really sure why I was there, or what this experience had to offer me.
The screen illuminated with live video footage and it seemed as though the speaker was talking directly to each attendee. The feed from Chicago came in crystal clear and I remember his words exactly.
“Everyone has influence.” He started. “The CEO of the company sitting in the back row, the tired new mother standing in the doorway calming her baby, the politicians governing our city, and the youth who maybe aren’t even sure why they are here. You all have influence.”
The idea that everyone has influence was something very striking to me and has stuck by me since this experience over 10 years ago. The simple statement has followed me through me through my first 6 years of teaching and has me wondering all sorts of things about my students and my classes.
Do they know that hey have influence? Do they realize how much of an impact they can have on their families, friends, communities, schools? How can I help them realize this? How can I help them prepare?
As I journey through Cohort 21 and learn from so many incredible facilitators, coaches and colleagues, I am continually inching towards answering this question. Part of my journey will include incorporating leadership opportunities in my FSL classrooms and answering real-life questions, in real-life context. I want to hold my students to a higher standard that they DO have influence and CAN use it where they are at, regardless of their age.
Buckle up friends – I think this is going to be a lot of fun.
** Pictured is myself (and a group of rockstar volunteers) RUNNING this event 4 years ago. I think you can sum up that I was exactly where I was supposed to be in that big auditorium all those years ago…