What is our influence?

We all wonder sometimes what effect we have on our library patrons or on students who walk through our doors, or if anything we say or share “sticks.”

I had a conversation with my five year old nephew a few days ago that convinced me how much impact we all make on students.  Just a small incident, but worth sharing.

We were at my nephew’s house for dinner when he announced that “he needed to go out and get some exercise.”  It seemed like an unusual phrasing on his part, but since the rest of the family was occupied, I offered to go out and watch him.

He promptly marched out in the driveway and started doing stretches with his arms, carefully winding his arms in circles like a windmill.  Then he took off running down the sidewalk and back again.  He walked  up and pronounced proudly to me, “My p.e. teacher told us we need to exercise and burn off some steam.” 

And there he was, after a week of school, already taking her advice and feeling proud of himself for doing it.

In all the casual interactions we have with students, we have to recall that what we say matters and is remembered.  We can use that influence for good and support good habits, or we can squander it, in every encounter we have.

Food for thought….

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