Truly, I may have been inspired last year to write this but watching this teacher teach was a true gift. I hear stories all the time, some good, a lot of bad, but seeing a teacher give everything and more and work the room and engage the kids inspired me as a presenter. The thing, however, is I felt sad because this teacher, I'm sure, is going to inspire his students and is going to plant seeds that may take a long time to fully grow, but I know a difference is going to be made and being a teacher has to be one of the more selfless professions to take up because a person can be the best, can create new thoughts and inspire careers and may never see the harvest to be. This post is once again dedicated to every teacher that has changed a life, made a student think, and has gone above and beyond knowing full well that they'll never see the end result...
So yesterday I was golfing at the Gordon Country Club and I was looking out to the west on the 7th tee on a blustery day watching the high, groomed grass dancing in the wind. I looked to the north and the land just wasn't as tended to and was just unkempt land. What a difference a little (or a lot) of work made and that got me thinking.
I've talked so much about the potential a person on the autism spectrum can have. However, it probably isn't just going to happen and it needs to work very much like the land out here. If it weren't for the decades, maybe even a century's worth of work of the land out here in Western Nebraska there's a good chance, well, a 100% chance that the land would not be hospitable for much of anything. It's taken irrigation, proper ranching, and a constant eye to make sure the land and livestock are right.
So why am I going on a talk about ranching and land? Potential. Someone, at some point in time, saw potential out here and now this community has a sustainable agriculture economy and if the agriculture goes away this town very well may go away. How does this relate to anything? It all goes back to potential.
The school year is starting and once more teachers are going to have students with Aspergers. Some teachers have a difficult time handling these students thinking that they are obstinate or defiant while others will just let them be them without much guidance. And then there are those that are going to see the potential.
It's fitting I'm writing this blog post in the midst of an agriculture community because I've been ending my presentation for years saying, "we live in a society where everyone wants everything to be perfect right now. When it comes to autism we can't look at it that way and rather we need to look at it like planting seeds; you've got to give it time to grow." That being so teachers have a great chance to plant the seeds to instill that potential that could be hidden underneath.
I'm sure I'll play many more rounds of golf and I'm going to drive by many fields and there will be multiple things I see. Not being a farmer or rancher I won't really know what I'm seeing because some fields will be filled with cattle and grasslands perfect for food, then others will be crops that I can't name, and then there will be some fields that are seemingly empty. What's there? What's going on? From my vantage point it's empty, worthless land, but to the right farmer or rancher they may see the hidden potential in the land. That's the difference between knowing and not knowing and I can only hope that in this upcoming school year more and more teachers master the art of seeing potential because what may seem like an empty field may someday turn into the most beautiful of creations that all started with the planting of just one seed.