Teachers Help Kids Envision a Path to Their Future. Five Qualities that Influence and Inspire.

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I saw this on Facebook. Incredible.

The graduating seniors at Van High School walked through the elementary, intermediate and middle school campuses, adorned in their cap and gown for their first ever Senior Walk.

The graduating seniors at Van High School walked through the elementary, intermediate and middle school campuses, adorned in their cap and gown for their first ever Senior Walk.
Source: Courtesy of the Van ISD Journalism Department

“I never knew how much of an influence we had on the younger kids, but seeing their faces light up as we walked through their halls and high-fived them, it really put it in perspective for me. It’s something I’ll never forget,” senior Ashley Mosley told the school.

I loved this comment.

Role models can come into kids’ lives in many ways. They are educators, civic leaders, mothers, fathers, and in the Van ISD community, these graduating seniors.

Last night, I shared these pictures with my kids. A junior and freshman in high school, and a first grader and soon to be graduate of pre-school. I asked, who are your role models and why?

Here are the top 5 qualities they shared:

  1. Passion and ability to inspire | “My teacher. She doesn’t get paid very much. She buys cool stuff for our classroom. She helps me all the time. And makes it fun. She loves being my teacher.”
  2. Clear set of values | “Our YMCA leaders. They give back to our community, volunteering, helping kids be better leaders, making sure families and kids that don’t have very much still have opportunities. Like leading our ‘Stop Hunger Now’ and the ‘We Build People’ campaigns.”
  3. Commitment to community | “You Mama! You teach kids in the classroom sometimes. And you used to coach our sister’s cheerleading team. And in your job you make sure all kids have an education. And daddy makes sure everybody is safe during a snowstorm and that our roads and bridges are built too so people can go to work and to Disneyworld.”
  4. Selflessness and acceptance of others | And they shared with me the characteristics they didn’t like: “Role models don’t bully.” “Role models help people that don’t have money. They give them money or food when they are homeless.”
  5. Ability to overcome obstacles | “Grandma. She had cancer, and still worked to help all her patients who didn’t have families nearby to take care of them.”

Our kids develop as the result of many experiences and relationships. Like the graduating seniors, and the characteristics of those described by my kids, role models play an important role in inspiring kids to learn, overcome obstacles, and understand that positive values can be lived each day.

Article by Cris Charbonneau