It Only Takes One

I am writing this early on Sunday morning and listening to Joni Mitchell while doing it. I recalled her 1968 release and first album, “Song To A Seagull” and its dedication to her 7th grade English teacher – “Mr. Kratzmann who taught me to love words.”

How many inspiring teachers have you had? Likely not many. Formal schooling is not about inspiring. Only an exceptional teacher adds value in the form of something from outside the books.

In 2001 Joni was feted with others at a ceremony celebrating Canada’s “Creative Geniuses.” Mr. Kratzmann presented the 3-minute introduction to her award. They had not seen each other for 45 years, but Joni joined in reminiscing, and it ended up at 20 minutes.

I suppose other teachers have added value to her life, but the thunderbolt of “loving words” seems to be dominant.

Mr. Kratzmann in an informal way had an enduring affect and we should all be grateful. Joni Mitchell is a treasure.

The takeaway

Each of us has the opportunity to influence young people. Sometimes we know we are doing it and other times they just watch and understand. The most inspiring teaching is less formal that school. Parents and other family members pass on attitudes, enthusiasm, curiousity, and the ability to be grateful.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein

“Joy and creative expression” are not found in text book. You get that from people.

When you can pass along hard earned wisdom, take the opportunity. You may never know how it will be used later. The right situation may not reappear. Important learning is two-way. The learning assistant must present and the student must be able to connect the message

” Children are never listening, but they are always watching.” David Mamet

Everyone is a teacher. Use the moments well.

You can learn a little about Mr. Kratzmann on Joni Mitchell’s site.

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email

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