By Roxanne Holonitch, SJMS Art & Technology Role Model: noun: a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.
A role model is a person who inspires and encourages us to strive for greatness, live to our fullest potential and see the best in ourselves. They are someone we admire and someone we aspire to be like. We learn through them, through their commitment to excellence and through their ability to make us realize our own personal growth. We look to them for advice and guidance.
Anyone can be a role model: a parent, a sibling, a friend --- but some of our most influential and life-changing role models are teachers. Teachers follow students through each essential stage of development. At six to eight hours a day, five days a week, teachers are poised to become one of the most influential people in your child’s life. Teachers not only watch your students grow --- they help them grow.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
-William Arthur Ward.
Much of what students learn from their greatest teachers is not detailed on a syllabus or course of study. Teachers who help us grow as people are responsible for instructing some of life’s most important lessons. School is as much a place of social learning as academic learning, and this is true, not only in our early years of education, but all the way through college.
Teachers are sources of experience. They have already been where their students are going, undergone what they will go through and are in a position to pass along lessons, not only regarding subject matter, but lessons on life. A role model goes far beyond the old adage of “do as I say, not as I do.”
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
To demonstrate the definition of a role model, Matt asked our faculty and staff last spring to create a personal art project over the summer that expresses their personality, life experiences, and interests. These projects came together to create an art exhibit entitled “Express Yourself" which is on display in the library hallway until early October. A wide variety of styles and projects are hanging for our school community to enjoy.
The concept of expressing yourself has become contagious. Michael and Laura, our Erdkinder teachers, challenged our 7th and 8th grade students with the same assignment, and the results are equally impressive.