Saturday, December 20, 2014

The most important lesson learned from my teacher...

In a break from my typical blog post about technical process to creatively integrate technology into a classroom, I want to share a story about the most import lesson I ever learned from a teacher.

I had been in a school choir since third grade and that continued through high school as my interest in basketball and the potential to play the sport at the college level grew.  My time was increasingly and nearly singularly devoted to the sport.

During my junior year, the recruiting process had begun and the goal of not only playing in college, but being awarded a scholarship was quickly becoming a reality.  A local university begun to show interest as letters from the coaching staff began arriving in my coach's mailbox in the athletic director's office.

On one particular evening, with a concert choir's winter concert fast approaching, I was contacted an associate coach of the local university and was invited to campus to watch the game that evening and meet the players after the game.  Recalling accurately and describing the excitement that I was overcome with in that moment is nearly impossible to describe in words.

There was a dress rehearsal that evening for the winter concert.  I rushed to Ms. Cetto's office to tell her about the opportunity and ask her if I could skip the rehearsal to visit campus and attend the game.  Without so much as a blink, she quickly returned with a resounding no and let me know that I had made a commitment to the choir and by missing the rehearsal I would not be able to perform in the concert.

Seventeen year old Greg was furious, could not understand her line of thought and angrily stormed out of her office.  I attended the rehearsal that evening, not out of respect for Ms. Cetto's response, likely out of fear that I could potentially fail the class if I didn't perform in the concert.  I was also convinced my chanced with this particular university was all but gone.

Many years later, I frequently recall this story and value the lesson learned, the values that Ms. Cetto instilled in me and the long lasting impact of her response.  I am far from perfect and do not always stick to every single commitment that I make, but without Ms. Cetto's wisdom and intervention in this situation I would have never developed the deep mindset of commitment she helped instill in me.

Side Note: This post does not do justice to the level of commitment that Ms. Cetto displayed towards her multiple choirs and her tireless work ethic.

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