“If you are called to sweep streets, but you sweep them the way Beethoven wrote music, you will never have an unhappy day.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.
When I first met Mrs. O’Donnell she was already sixty-four years old and had been teaching for more than forty years. One year away from retirement, even a casual observer could see the youthful enthusiasm she demonstrated in her classroom full of active, noisy fourth-graders. She seemed to have the bright-eyed innocence and wonder of a recent college graduate, even though she had been doing the same thing for four decades.
I have encountered many teachers (and other professionals) who have lost that innocent wonder—often at a much younger age—and meeting ...