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Take the opportunity to share your life lessons

Starting The New Year Right

The fall and winter months are a time of celebrations, family and the ending of another year. This year beginning in the fall have brought a much different closure to the year than I have ever experienced.

It was a Saturday in the middle of October. My wife and I were having a conversation during lunch about the upcoming winter months.  Our business activities began in mid January and we were busy all season long. We were beginning the last quarter of the year when our business usually tapers down. Owning a business specializing in motorcycle wash and detailing products, understandably winter is a slower season for business. Beginning in early winter most motorcycle owners winterize their bikes and begin preparing for the next riding season.

Following our conversation about our year of business the topic changed to her role as Instructional Coach and the school where she worked.  She told me about some of the students and the challenges she had become aware of. Now as Instructional Coach she had a greater awareness of the entire school, the students, and the challenges the teachers were facing. The stories of her interactions with the students, especially the young men were very enlightening. Many of the male students were being raised by single mothers. Most of the teachers were female so these boys were not given the opportunity to identify with a male in a role of authority.  Soon she had me agreeing to apply to become a substitute teacher at her school.

I went to her school the next week and applied to become a substitute teacher. Following my approval I was  given my first substitute teaching assignment for the following week. During my interview I told them I could substitute one possibly two days a week. My desire was to substittuet four to six days a month. This is an example of just one of the many benefits of owning your own business. As a business owner you get to schedule your hours, work when you choose, although the work still needs to get done. I believe so much in being in business for yourself I have started a Gig Business Group.

My first assignment was teaching a 5th grade class. When I rode my motorcycle to work that October morning the temperature was in the 40’s. Riding a motorcycle caught the attention of the parents ans students as well. Seeing a motorcycle in the parking lot, on a cold weekday morning was just a little different.

The class began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a moment of silence, then the days announcements. Some of the students were lest than actively involved during the pledge which as a Veteran I did not appreciate. Following the announcement it was our first teachable moment. I began by introducing myself and telling them a little about my life- including serving in the Army. When they knew a little about me, my desire to share with them some life lessons I had learned. we addressed the Pledge of Allegiance and our Flag. I shared with them their opportunity to attend school, especially the girls, which wasn’t true for other parts of the world. I educated them on what the Flag represented, how each soldier takes an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America.

Opportunities with hidden blessings

Following my scheduled days to substitute I was asked it I would consider being a long-term substitute for 6th and 7th grade math. This was a challenging request, math was not my major, I did not want to fail the students. The school staff did not want a rotation of substitute teachers. The principle was certified in math and would develop the lesson plans while guiding me with instruction and lesson applications. I looked over my schedule and upcoming commitments, then agreed to serve as a long term sub through the end of the year.

My first day of class was challenging. The students were challenging the substitute. The next day and each following the students began to understand me and I them. They learned from the first day my priority of respect, attention to detail, and personal discipline did not end with my military service. The second week was much better, entering the third week they had accepted me. They realized I was their for their benefit. I was told by several student, “You really want to teach us math, you want us to learn”. These words were enough to make a grown man shed a tear.

Veterans Day was special. The entire homeroom made me a banner for my service. Two girls proudly gave me a card they had made thanking  me for serving. Each day was an opportunity to teach real world lessons. One day we discussed a fast food restaurant employees inability to make change. Another day we discussed how algebra is used everyday by police in accident investigations. I was able to share how understanding graphs and coordinates translate to business, even military service. I was able to share with them how much I now value education which while I was their age I took it for granted.

Freedom is never Free!

I was able to teach some students. I would like to offer you an opportunity to teach others as you go. The Veterans Administration on November 29, 2017 has announced they are now issuing a national Veterans ID Card. This is not the medical card. This is strictly an ID Card recognizing your service. This card is to be used in lieu of a DD214 to document your service to receive discounts at retailers. When you use this card this is your opportunity to educate those with whom you have contact. We must remind our fellow citizens Freedom is not Free! To request your VIC, Veterans must visit Vets.gov, click on Apply for Printed Veterans ID Card.

See you on the “Open Road”,

Moto-Tec-it Tim