HTC4: Asking Questions

To the most humble man I’ve ever met,

I know that if you had it your way, this would never be posted. In fact, if you had my password, you might be tempted to take it down yourself. If you read this, don’t worry, I’m not going to tell anybody your name. But I can’t go another day without sharing about your impact. I must make known why I try so many times throughout the day to stop and think, “what would Mr. Humble do?”

To everybody else,

You wanna conquer? Well let me tell you about Mr. Humble. (We’ll call him Mr. H for short).

I met him on my first day of work back in January when he offered me pretzel sticks and gingersnaps. We chatted throughout a few class periods, and I saw him at lunch every now and then. He walks through the halls with his head held high and always, always with a bright smile on his face.

He got transferred to our classroom several months later, and the man came in asking a boatload of questions for weeks. Our classroom is specifically for students on the severe spectrum of disabilities, and it was clear that his goal was to blend in with the services we had been providing for the students. He was determined as he processed for himself the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of educating and caring for our students. I still kinda felt like a newbie myself, so I listened closely to the answers given by my coworkers, and chimed in when needed.

It took about .002 seconds for all of us to see his natural ability with these students. His exuberant patience every second of the day was truly awe-inspiring. Seeing him interact with students was breathtaking. Every question he asked them drew their attention, reverence, and curiosity. With increased classroom time together, I started learning much more about Mr. H.

Quick facts about Mr H:

The man has been educating more than twice as long as I have been breathing air.

→ He has had long-term positions educating in countries on every side of the globe.

→ After he retired from teaching, he stayed in education as a paraeducator, because who says retiring means sitting at the golf club all week?

→ He has his own company and travels to schools giving workshops and seminars to paraprofessionals and SpEducators alike, providing top-notch guidance on how seamlessly create a stronger, more efficiently organized learning environment.

→ I repeat: The same man who walked into our room asking endless questions on how we operate our classroom trains people across the region on how to do it.

→ At over 60 years old, he kayaks (or “paddles” as he calls it) for hours on end, and mountain unicycles. (If you don’t know what that is, youtube it when you’re done reading).

When I learned all of this, every quality I saw in him was even more breathtaking. But what puts me over the edge in awe is the fact that Mr. H does not want any recognition for what he has done and what he continues to do on a daily basis. He has sent hundreds of students across the globe towards remarkably successful lives. He empowers and equips professionals to give unparalleled services to students. He continues to do these things, even though he doesn’t need it to pay the bills. 

So why be like Mr. Humble?

Here’s a few thoughts:

What would happen if we all asked more questions? I am confident that it would lead to unparalleled understanding of our surroundings, and interconnected spirits… which can only lead to success.

Is it possible that we have forgotten how to listen intently and intentionally? Be mindful of your body language, facial expressions, distractions, and attitude after you ask a question. I’m learning that it goes a long way.

Maybe it’s time to move away from the mindset of needing recognition for every single thing we do or have done. Our true reward isn’t an applause, or 100+ likes on Facebook, or thank you cards. It’s the impact that we make regardless of others’ awareness of our actions.

My mom warned me a long time ago that I probably wouldn’t appreciate her advice until I got married or had kids of my own. Do you know how many times I’ve called my mother in the last year??? Do you know how badly I wish I took advantage of the years I spent under her roof? Personally, I’m going to be spending a lot of time asking questions even when I think I know the answer. And more importantly, I’m going to be doing a lot of listening, a lot of learning, and a lot of keeping my mouth shut. What about you? What can you do to humble yourself while learning from the people in your daily life? Let’s do it together and fuel our communities with humility and appreciation.

Oh and one more thing … Mr. H, I hope I’m just like you when I grow up.

May God grant you all many pumpkin spice lattes, comfy slippers, and a completed “summer to-do list” as we head into fall! 

— Mally 🙂 


P.s. I updated my About Me page with a video that pretty much tells all. Have a look 🙂

Tune in next time for a look at what I do with the last hour of my day and how it helps me conquer the first two hours of the morning.

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