For some students it's just the moment when understanding occurs and I get to witness the excitement of discovery - a turning point that brings joy.
But once in a while, I get to be a part of a turning point that brings life. When a student who has convinced himself that he is stupid realizes that he has power and potential, who experiences success for the first time, and who finally discovers his passion - that turning point opens up a world of opportunity that never existed before. When a student finds her voice and learns her value that does not come from her accomplishments or from being perfect, but rather from her inherent value as a unique individual - that turning point offers freedom from the pressure of perfectionism and performance. When a teacher who has been feeling worn, weary, and discouraged receives a note of encouragement and appreciation that convinces him or her to reach out again, to try again, to care again - that turning point nurtures growth and revitalizes passion.
I am humbled to be a part of someone's turning point. Thank you to the students, parents, teachers, and friends who have been a part of my own turning points.