courage and determinationThe tenacity of my mother inspired me to become the woman I am today.  Her courage, determination, work ethic, her acceptance of responsibility, her love for caring and sharing with others and her spoken words of wisdom “help others as you never know when you might need help”.

Her examples are etched in my mind.  I am motivated by her strength, her determination and courage to keep on going in spite of whatever challenge got in her way, and most importantly her passion to reach out and help others so to make a difference in the world.

As a young girl I wanted to become a teacher.  However, I became a secretary instead and worked in office administration throughout my career.  Ironically, I always found employment in teaching institutions like the University of Toronto, Seneca College and Toronto Police Service.  These institutions have the same commonality, teaching.  Was it simply by coincidence one might ask?

I remembered having my annual evaluation with my boss one year and in discussion I mentioned that I always wanted to be a teacher.  He replied, you’re a teacher.  Your interaction here with everyone you come in contact with is testament to being a good teacher.

a great teacherWhat does it mean to be a great teacher?

In addition to your teaching credentials example, knowledge, critical thinking and the required level of intelligence a great teacher should be balanced in many more areas other than credentials, knowledge, experience and intelligence.

What lies in the heart of a great teacher?

A great teacher is kind – shows kindness to students, colleagues, parents and all those around him/her. There’s an old saying that “kindness makes the world go around”. When practised, it changes the environment in the classroom and in the school. A kind teacher helps students feel safe, welcomed, cared for and loved.

influence of a good teacherA great teacher is compassionate – teaching is a very humanistic profession, and compassion is the utmost feeling of understanding.  Showing others you are concerned about them is reassuring and comforting.  A compassionate teacher models that characteristic to the students with his/her actions, in turn the students will be more open to understanding the world around them as they learn from the example set by their teacher.

A great teacher is empathetic – empathy is a very important trait to have in ourselves and to try to develop in our students.  When you’re able to put yourself in someone’s shoes and see things from their perspective can undoubtedly have a powerful impact on our decisions and actions.

A great teacher is someone positive – being a positive teacher takes work, creativity and focus to be able to deal with ongoing problems and come up with solutions.  The ability to staying positive when things get tough will encourage and help the students to develop strength and an appreciation that tough times don’t last, tough people do.  A positive teacher impacts not only the students he/she impacts everyone around.  Looking on the bright side always make things better.

A great teacher is a builder – a great teacher bridges the gaps and builds relationships, friendships, and a community. Teachers always look to make things better and improve things in and outside the classroom. Building a community is something a great teacher seeks to do in the classroom and extends that to the entire school and its community.

A great teacher inspires – everyone looks at a great teacher and they want to be a better teacher, they want to be a better student, better yet, they want to be a better person.  A great teacher uncovers hidden treasures, possibilities and magic right before everyone’s eyes.

Like being a great teacher pursuing your dreams comes with work, persistence and believing in yourself.  Those qualities will enable you to accomplish your dreams.

live your dreamWhy do people abandon their dreams?

People abandon their dreams because they are afraid to fail (fear of failure), therefore they do not try.  If only they look at failure as a stepping stone to success.  Failure is one of the biggest ways to learn, grow and eventually succeed.

Here are some reasons why you should not give up on your dreams.  Pursuing your dreams come with many benefits.

  1. failure and successDo Not Fear Failure

Many famous and successful people had to fail over and over again before they achieved what they wanted to accomplish life.  Abraham Lincoln failed at war, as a businessman, as a lawyer and even at politics at first.  He did not give up! He pushed through and became president of the United States.  Thomas Edison was called “stupid” by his teachers; and he was fired multiple times before “failing” 1000 times attempting to invent the light bulb.  Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school basketball team.  He later said “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games
26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”

Dont fear failureWe can learn from these successful men that we should never give up on our dreams for fear of failure.  Instead, learn to persevere through the successes of others and know that you too can accomplish your dreams

  1. Be Persistent

We learn to persevere in experiencing hardships. If you never fall down, you’ll never learn how to get back up.  Each time we pick ourselves back up after falling and forge on, we get stronger and become more capable of achieving our ultimate goals.

  1. Regrets not tryingIt is better to try and fail than never to try at all

Have you ever regretted not trying something in your life?  That unresolved feeling of what could have been will be tugging at you for years unending because you did not try when you had the chance to do so.  How do you avoid that feeling of regret? By trying!


  1. celebrate small victoriesCelebrate small victories along the way.

If you have big dreams, you will have stepping stones of success along the way. These small victories can help to push you through to the next goal and soon enough, your dreams will be realized.




  1. life challengesThe pursuit.

Finding value in the pursuit means to follow your dreams.  In so doing there might be obstacles and challenges to overcome however, you get stronger as you face those challenges head on.  Life happens when we actively work towards our goal and are triumphant in the end.  We feel satisfied in our heart that we’ve given it our best shot.  Often times numerous doors open up for us to walk through by taking successful action allows us to accomplish a level of success that would otherwise be out of reach.



  1. success is not far awaySuccess is often just around the corner.

Often times we give up far too soon. If only we knew what the impact would be from one more phone call, one more interview, or just one more late night working on our passions we would be more encouraged to continue. If only you knew how close you were to success you would continue to persevere and not live to regret what might have been.

No one knows what the future holds for us; however, when we seek to find out and continue to work to accomplish our dreams it comes together.


  1. Setting an example.

Winston ChurchillAs quoted in some famous quotes by:

 Winston Churchill:  “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”
Never, never, never, give up”.




Having faith in your ability and pursuing your dream with strength, passion and courage will ensure that victory does not deny you.

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