Tuesday, December 06, 2016

TED Talk: Finding The Courage To Do The Thing You Think You Cannot Do...

                                            You must do the thing
                     you think you cannot do.
                                     -Eleanor Roosevelt

Yesterday was at once glorious and excruciating.
It was full of joy and celebration and a deep sense of loss.

I knew it was coming.
I could feel it in my heart and soul.

It's like having a doctor's appointment that

you have to go through, you know it's what is 
required, yet you wish it didn't have to happen.

You love your doctor, yet you feel sad and a bit

off balance as the time nears.

That's what the end of a quarter is like for me as I say goodbye to my amazing students.

It's a celebration...after all they have worked so hard all quarter. We have become a "family" of sorts. 

Students always sit in the same places, and we have the same routines. We "clap" for each day. There are snacks to eat. We say good morning to each other. We support each other all quarter. We do the hard work together.

Then, in what feels like a heart beat, their final projects are in and tests are taken. 

I grade myself into oblivion with marathon grading sessions,  and I am awe struck by how smart my students are and how hard they work.

Finally, they get their tests and projects back, we have a delicious potluck, and then it is time to say goodbye.

I always cry all the way home.

No, that's not completely accurate.
I sob all the way home.

I can't imagine them not being in their seat.

I can't imagine not hearing what is going on in their lives.

I truly love them, care about them , and have invested in every single one of them.

Every time.

Every quarter.
All these 50 years of teaching.

I thank God every day that I get to do what I do.

It truly is the best job in the world, at least for me.

And while the leaving is hard, every day with

them has been amazing. Miracles happen. Students transform. They have a new look of confidence in their eyes. They are proud of themselves and what they have accomplished.

I am so proud of them that my heart could burst.

They are a gift to me, just as I hope I am a gift to them.

Recently I got a chance to talk about teaching and what it means to me. I did a TED talk for Spokane 2016. 

It just came on the internet on YouTube.

While I give "talks" every day in a classroom, and often do speeches on communication at conferences and meetings, this was different.

I was talking about Passion in Motion and bringing love into the classroom.

This is a topic that is so personal and so close to my heart that I wasn't sure I could get the words out.

I prayed and prayed before I said, "Yes, I'll do this."

It's a vulnerable moment when you realize that something you care about so much will be out there, totally visible.

Yet I felt a strong pull that He wanted me to do this.

That somehow I might communicate that I was able to teach the way I teach because of His strength and His love.

I could never, ever, ever have done this, this 50 years of teaching, without God's strength and guidance every day.

Many days I knew that I couldn't do it, but He could.

The day we filmed the TED talk was one of those days. 

I became ill about thirty minutes before I was to be filmed.

Not a little ill, really ill.

I prayed and asked for His guidance. I told the Lord God Almighty that if He wanted this to happen, He would need to give me the strength to do it.

He did, and I did. All for His glory, not mine.

I was able to go out and do the thing I thought I

could not do because I trusted Him to help me
do it. 

I trusted that He loved me and would be there with me...

beside me, holding me up on that stage in front of that 
huge audience.

So here it is...

And as this Christmas season rolls around, may you  find the courage to do the thing you think you cannot do, and may you know, in your deepest heart of hearts, that with God all things are possible!

God bless and much love,



Vicky said...

Your voice! Just to hear your beautiful voice! I'm going to gush- how can I not gush? 20,000, students?! What a legacy you have LIVED! You took what your blessed teacher did for you, and multiplied it exponentially. Your talents are so multi-faceted. Your ability to deliver such a powerful presentation was superb and I was hanging on your every word. The beautiful stories you told of your precious students. The effort you put in to ensure that your students felt both seen, and heard, is such a gift!! I always think that biggest gift we can truly give someone is to make them feel like they matter. I'm just honored to call you my friend- sweet one. Honored and humbled. I love you- to the moon- and all the way back!

Best. TED talk. Ever.

Jackie said...

I love you, Linda Seppa-Salisbury.
I knew I did even before I watched this video. We are Sisters of the Heart.
And after I watched it (with tears of thanksgiving in my heart for Ms. Ella Faye and for you,) I love you even more.
As you end another quarter of teaching at Spokane, I know there is sadness in your heart. How can there not be. These students are "yours". I know exactly how you feel.
Yet, I know that you realize that you have given them wings. They will fly. They will fly high....and they will do spectacular things.
I thank you.
You are an amazing teacher....an amazing wife,an amazing Mother, and an amazing Nana.
I am honored to call you my friend.
Thank you for sharing this video with me. It touched my heart.

Angela said...

I have been reading your blog for years now. I appreciate your honesty, struggles and your unending LOVE for people and Jesus. This TED talk spoke to me in so many ways. I am a teacher and needed this right now!!! Thank you!
Merry Christmas,

GrammaGrits said...

Loved the TED talk! Shared it with others. Told them to have tissues ready. What an encouragement; made me realize I need to use these words with my grands. Thank you! Merry Christmas

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