Lessons From Mr. Wright
Senior Louisville Male High School is blessed to have an incredible physics teacher named Jeffrey Wright. Blessed and gifted with the skills that most teachers are not taught or are unwilling to share with their students. When you hear students make comments like Chelsea Fox, “I had things going on and he reached out” “He’s works with me”. You know something is happening here! There’s a connection that has grown and been nurtured to facilitate bonding between student and teacher. Some of the students voice their feelings with comments like, “ I’ll remember Mr. Wright 75 years from now”. I can tell you from K-12 I remember two teachers that made a difference in my life. Ms. Maybe, my 1st grade teacher, and Mr. Paul King, my high school history teacher. Ms. Maybe left an impression because I just happened to think at the time she was the most beautiful woman, outside of my mother, I had ever seen. One day when I was walking home from school she was driving by and stopped and asked if I need a ride home. Whahooo! Ms. Maybe asked if she could give me a ride home! I thought she walked on water! I remember her kindness 60 years later, a little gesture and compassion, linked with personnel connection can and does have a huge impact on the young mind. Mr. Paul King was my high school history teacher and although I don’t remember what precipitated the exchange I do remember what he said to me! A group of us were waiting to enter the classroom and an exchange of words ensued and in the course of the exchange someone remarked that “Costello you’ll never amount to a hill of beans”. Mr. King heard the comment and turned to me and replied, “ Don’t ever believe a word of that garbage, you are and will be valuable”. Those words have stuck and reinforced a belief in me that dates farther back than any of those people ever realized. Back to Mr. Wright, in the video we learn that Mr. Wright puts more importance on asking the How’s and Why’s of things than the mechanics of learning the facts and details. We learn in the video how he has come to these realizations in his own life. Mr. Wright has a son that has a rare physical disability. He shares what he has learned from his son and daughter in the raising of a disabled child. What’s important here is that he is willing to share in a very creative and articulate way his experiences with his students. The lessons to be learned from this are so very important. Compassion through communication—-When teachers share on a personnel level it humanizes the teacher and the students open up and become respective and respectful in the exchange. Bonding builds as the lines of communication grow. Mr. Wright’s students would go out of their way to support him, literally follow him to the end of time. Love comes in many forms and shapes and is viewed through many different lenses. Perspectives change and are processed in a more intimate way with a deeper sense of attachment with his students and them with him. The most important lesson I think is the amount and depth of TRUST that has been built. When we share life’s events and passions, it creates a line of trust that is authentic and deep. It is evident in the way Mr. Wright’s students respond to him that their caring goes farther and deeper than that of a normal student –teacher relationship. This is a life lesson that is real and genuine from the heart and soul. It can’t be fabricated or contrived. This is a life lesson that all teachers and really everyone should learn from. Communication in a genuine authentic manor is the key to solving so many issues in life. You can choose any area of life and examine the root causes of failure and the majority of the time it boils down to the issue of communication on an authentic level. Students and kids have a unique way of seeing through adults and knowing if what they are saying is authentic. The lesson for teachers is that don’t be afraid and consequently teach in fear. Do the opposite and be bold. Teach from a real position of authentic authority; share your heart and passion with your students. They will respond, some will take time and others will be more immediate, but they will respond. There is one thing I can tell you with certainty is that they will react to you! Some bonds will create life long impressions and others will be short term and immediate. Teachers teach because they have a passion for making a difference and what an impact they are when delivered with proper communication, authenticity and passion. You have at your fingertips the ability to change a generation and the world. Go for it!!