Life is funny, when you least expect it, it gives you a moment in time that resonates deeply within your soul. Last night I encountered a moment just like that, a moment that made me stop and think. I was in attendance at a business awards dinner and the speeches were pretty dry, probably because I have very little knowledge of or interest in the investment business. but as I was sitting there listening to the speeches one really caught my attention. A speech was being given by a gentleman who had just won an award for his work as a mentor and volunteer in the community. It was obvious from his speech that mentoring is something that he holds close to his heart. He spoke about the importance of mentoring and how something so simple really can change lives.
The moment that made me really stop and think during his speech was when he said “Hold a hand when it needs to be held”. These nine simple words touched the part of my teachers soul. As teachers we are always mentors and we are always there to help. Students look up to us for guidance and support, in many realms of their lives from the academic to the personal. If we can, we always help them to the best of our abilities. If we are unable to help, we make sure we are there for them when they need us, while we find them the help they need. It is one of the best qualities of teaching and is one of the reasons I am drawn to the profession. When you see a child who is struggling with a problem, you step in and help them.
As teachers we are faced with students with a myriad of problems on a daily basis. Some are small and easily solved. Others are large and life changing challenges. It is up to us to be there and to help whenever it is needed. When I spoke to the gentleman after his speech he recalled how early on in his mentoring journey he spoke to a young student who told him his mentor saved his life. The simple action of having guidance and a confidant at the right time of his life, kept him from taking the wrong path at a critical moment. So although they may seem insignificant small actions really do add up.