Something that I became aware of when I was still in elementary school is that teachers touch the future. This became evident to me when I heard my parents talk to their friends about dreams they had for their children. Most of these friends were field laborers who had very little education. They were hoping that education would provide a better future for their children. They knew that their children’s success was dependent on their teachers.
As a mathematics coach, most of the students that I worked with came from low-income families. Through the years I marveled at the success they had in the competitive arena. Yet, I was more impressed with the lives that they had years after graduating from my school. Most of my students went to prestigious universities like Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Notre Dame, Brigham Young, University of Texas and Texas A & M. From there they became engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs, teachers, etc. With time I heard so many great stories from these students. Most began assisting their parents financially. They also helped their siblings in their pursuit of a college education. They started families of their own. In fact, in one instance I had the pleasure of tutoring one of their children that became the top student at the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association State Meet.
What I was most impressed about is that most of my ex-team members have done volunteer work at schools. They have begun inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. Some have traveled around the United States speaking to young people about the importance of a good education. Many share their humble beginnings and work at inspiring others to pursue their dreams.
As an author of more than 40 instructional mathematics workbooks, I have tried to provide materials that have motivated a love of learning in general and a love of mathematics in particular. Long after I am gone, I am hopeful that the teachers, parents and students that use my workbooks will be successful in their careers. I know that I am only one teacher. Yet, I have dedicated my life to impacting the world in a positive way. I know that I have touched the future and for that I thank God.