"Let us move forward with boldness and not retreat back into the comforts of the past." - David March
It was Saturday night and I was with my son, for what should have been some quality one on one time. I had left the house before anyone was awake, and got home in time to let my wife and daughters run errands they needed to get done that evening. I should have been able turn things off and give the little bit of time I had to my son. Sadly, it took something totally unrelated to snap me back to what is truly important.
There was about a 10 - 15 second pause when they husband and wife stood there caught off guard. They had gone from trying to throw their tray away, to dropping things, having to stop and try to pick it all up, to simply standing there with everything picked up and thrown away for them within seconds. I'm sure if you are still reading you are saying, this isn't that big of a deal, but it was one of those, "you had to be there" types of moments. The man said to his wife as they walked out the door, "Wow (again) we need to be sure come back to this place..." With one simple gesture the two young men, created an impression on everyone in the room.
Blake and I talked about how nice it was for those two boys to pick up the trash for the other man. We talked about how now that couple has a positive thought about everyone in Sulphur Springs and how doing something nice for someone can change their entire thought process for a while. He went from being annoyed that he dropped it, to being dumbfounded that the two men never missed a beat as they helped him get everything cleaned up. I saw my 6 year old son watch the chain of events and he had the biggest smile on his face. He loved that that two people that didn't make the mess picked it up anyway.
The best part of all of it, is that he saw how a simple gesture made such a big difference. I am a firm believer that little details make a big difference in the things we do. As all three of my kids have grown up, we often discuss doing things just because they are the right thing to do. I see my kids model this often. This was just another of those "that is how it should be" type of moments. I got home and later that night I saw the video I shared at the beginning of this story and it again reminded me how awesome people can be.
So what does this have to do with ed tech or anything education related? I always have a way of twisting things so they work for what I am thinking. With all the various things I am working on in my role as an Instructional technology coordinator the common thread is that all of the work is really planting seeds for the future. Just as the random act of kindness in Wendy's planted a seed for me and my son about how to treat others, the fruits of my work will take time to be fully seen. It is easy to get frustrated as we may not see changes taking place as fast as we want, but every conversation, activity, training, etc gives teachers the chance to better understand how technology may fit in their classroom. And while I may work hard to get everyone on board, all too often, it is the simple things I do that make the biggest difference, not the ones that keep me at the office well past closing time.