Monday, February 23, 2009

Bill Strickland--One Person Can Make a Difference

If you give kids flowers and you give ‘em food and you give ‘em sunshine and enthusiasm, you can bring them right back to life. –Bill Strickland

Bill Strickland, One Slide Show at a Time--what an inspirational video it is! There are so many messages conveyed, and I agree with every one of them.
  • People have a tendency to show world-class behavior if they are treated that way.
  • How one thinks of someone determines his/her behavior.
  • There is absolutely no reason why poor people can’t learn world-class technology.
  • Children often become like the teachers who teach them.
  • Mothers will go where their children are being celebrated every time
  • Music brings light when the world seems dark.
  • One must be prepared to act on his/her dreams just in case they do come true.
  • If one makes a friend in every town, he/she will never be lonely.
As I watched this video, I couldn’t help but think about the power of a teacher and how we can make a difference in the life of a child. I was reminded of a comment made by one of our new eighth graders recently. “How come specials teachers (music and computer literacy) get me and my regular teachers don’t?” he inquired. I was taken aback. Yes, he was very needy. On day one he made sure to tell me he couldn’t do anything on the computer (which wasn’t true). By day 22, he was providing his neighbors with computer assistance. I believed in him and he responded. Given his love of music, I have a feeling that he would agree that music brightens a dark day.

Indeed mothers go where their children are being celebrated. My mother (14 children in all!), never missed a PTO meeting or a concert or a play. When I interviewed then presidential candidate Barack Obama, he stated that one of his first priorities in education would be to increase parental involvement. He would strongly encourage inner city parents to take responsibility for their children and be involved in their education. It seemed far-fetched…easier said than done. Yet, here is Bill Strickland who has actually accomplished this feat. Bravo!

My greatest teachers were my parents…not in the classroom but in the home. In so many ways, I am like them. And as an educator, I am very much like my favorite teachers in school. We educators have such an impact on our youth.

Bill Strickland shows us the power of one individual and the importance of making connections with others. If you believe in something, it might just happen!


  1. I like your bulleted list of messages from the video. It is a great summary. I am glad to hear that Obama plans to encourage more parental involvement in education. It's just SO important! Thanks for a great summary!