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I heard this presented at a wedding by the Father of the bride.  I got tremendously inspired.  I wished I had written it myself, but found, through the magic of Google, the original writer to be brilliant man named Steve Goodier.   With apoligies to Steve, I have condensed it here for you — ENJOY!!!


Parable of a Child

A young school teacher had a dream that an angel appeared to him and said,

You will be given a child who will grow up to become a world leader. 

How will you, her teacher, prepare her so that:

she will realize her intelligence

grow in confidence

be assertive AND sensitive

be open-minded

yet strong in character?

What education will you provide that will help her become one of the world’s truly GREAT leaders?”

The young teacher awoke in a cold sweat. It had never occurred to him before—any ONE of his present or future students could be the person described in his dream. He thought, ‘How might my teaching change if I KNEW that one of my students were this person?’

He gradually began to formulate a plan in his mind.

This student would need experience as well as instruction.

His teaching changed.

Every young person who walked through his classroom became, for him, a future world leader.

He saw each one, not as they were, but as they could be.

He expected the best from his students, yet tempered it with compassion. He taught each one as if the future of the world depended on his instruction.

After many years, a woman he knew rose to a position of world prominence. He realized that she must surely have been the girl described in his dream. Only she was not one of his students, but rather his daughter.

For of all the various teachers in her life, her father was the best…

How different would your family life be if you viewed your child or children as future world leaders?  Or as someone that might change the world?

I will leave you that one thought – how would your day to day interactions change?

How would this be for an experiment?   What if a school psychologist told you that, regardless of your child’s ACTUAL intelligence score, that your child is showing signs of extreme brilliance and intelligence in certain areas…

Imagine the scene… a 2 families at the zoo – each with an 9 year old BOY – watching the monkeys at the zoo.

In the one regular family, Dad is a little agitated and at the end of a long day,  “Come on buddy… I’ve told you 3 times, we gotta go…”  Then you have the family that has been told their child ranks above average on intelligence… “Tell me son, what you are thinking?  What do you see?  Do you know some people believe we evolved from monkeys?  You remember Uncle Lou?” —

Much more talking WITH, than simply talking to…

So let’s look for the best in our children and focus on their strengths… beware of your expectations and perceptions.  Who knows, with a little encouragement, one day they might change the world for the better… you are their best TEACHER!

Until next time…




  • Sean Haughian Apr 30, 2012 Reply

    Jeff, I totally agree with the article however the hard part is that life gets in the way alot. In a world where time didn’t exist, deadlines didn’t have to be met and baths before bedtime.etc…… this works. However it does provide food for thought. Being a Gr. 2 teacher my students are simply sponges that soak up everything. I’d love to ask thought provoking questions all day and they could talk and tell stories for hours. However curriculum must be met, extra time to complete assignments is needed and marking/assessments need to be done..just to name a few …. Life is a great balancing act and although I would like things different at times we need to be realistic. I think more kids in the world need structure in their lives. Maybe we could think up some inspiring questions as to why we need to leave the zoo……until next time….

    • Jeff May 1, 2012 Reply

      Hey Sean,
      Thanks for your thoughts… You are in a unique spot with regards to this notion. As a teacher, you can be optimistic about the potential of all your students — but also as the father of 2 girls, you can see your impact in your own family — if you have anything left in the energy tank at the end of a long day! I hope this blog post ENCOURAGES not discourages…
      Can’t wait to hear your thougths on Princesses vs. Pioneers… cheers! JH

  • Hugh Culver May 1, 2012 Reply

    Love the “remember Uncle Lou?”!

    I know I’ve been a bad “teacher” at times with my kids. When my ego gets in the way I think my agenda is more important then theirs. It all comes back to me in the little comment days later when they ask me why I am so busy.

    great post!

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