Inspiring Young Minds


By: Caitlin Faulds

 Today during an activity designed to let us get to know our teaching partners a little better, the question was posed: ‘What one thing would you like your students to take away your time with them?’ I sat there on the ledge overlooking the valley we live our lives in, listening to some of the other answers out there.

There are a million good answers to this question. For me though, the one thing I feel I have to offer them, is the assurance that this world is theirs to explore. The places, the people, the unequivocal beauty, and scientific marvels. There is so much to be seen. I hope that I can provide that little nudge to get them out of their bubble, or better yet, widen its breadth just a little. I want them to step out into their neighborhoods or the forests behind their houses and see what they can find.

For me, there is joy in the unknown, happiness beyond that curve in the leaf-soaked road. To explore is to give into the idea that there is yet more to learn.

Every weekend here, I take some time to get out of Hawley. I pick a direction, grab a backpack, hop in my car and go. I’ll turn wherever I please, knowing that I can always turn around. There is a certain joy in letting the wind sweep you where it will. Often, it sweeps me off my feet completely and crashes me headlong into a view that makes my heart jump and my stomach twirl.

That’s a feeling that should never be missed; a feeling that I want every child to know and to savor too. I hope that a step into a forest with them now, might spark a roaring fire that will lead them anywhere and everywhere in this world.