Over the last few weeks, Wellness Wednesday has focused on the need for revolution in American schools. This revolution requires a shift in how we see the purpose of schools. Simply put, this shift is from teachers being distributors of information to teachers focusing on guiding students to develop essential skills and know the truth, especially the truth about themselves.

When teachers are focusing on skill development and truth, they are centered on a deep belief in the potential of their students. This belief is the basis of our desire to teach. We teach because we believe in the potential of our students and want to help them develop that potential.

What is potential? Think of a young child. Within this child lies potential…a power that waits and waits and waits to get activated so it can make a positive difference in the life, relationships, and experiences of the child and, in doing so, make a positive difference in the lives of others as well.

Potential is a power in each person that wants to make a positive difference.

What happens to that potential over time? For many people nothing happens to it. They have undeveloped potential that remains dormant year after year. For others their potential develops at a rate that would be commonly expected. They are achieving reasonable goals and getting along fine with others. But for some people, their potential explodes.

An example of unbelievable development of potential is Helen Keller. Helen’s potential was trapped inside a young girl who could not see, could not hear, and could not speak. Her potential was destined to remain dormant, but for a teacher whose belief overcame Helen’s severe disabilities.

Anne Sullivan believed that Helen could learn. That belief activated Helen’s potential and made an incredible difference in the quality of countless peoples’ lives throughout the world.

Although Anne Sullivan could not have imagined what was possible, she only needed to believe that Helen had potential. That belief kept Anne steadfast on developing skills and truth in Helen. As a result, one miracle worker activated the potential in another miracle worker.


  • Who has been your Anne Sullivan? Who has believed in your potential?
  • Who is your Helen Keller? Who needs you to believe in his or her potential?

From Willow, Kevin, and Tom…whose purpose each day is to activate potential in others.

Paul Bernabei
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