Let's begin with an idea that seems obvious: When we learn, we change. We do something new or better, or we may stop doing something. Learning makes a difference.
Sometimes learning is incremental, and we don't even notice the changes. At other times, learning brings about powerful changes. In the most dramatic cases, learning transforms our life.
This potential for change is what attracts many of us to teaching. We hear about teachers who influenced students' lives in important ways; we remember our own teachers and the effect they had on us; and we recognize how learning has changed our own lives. We see the opportunity to be a vehicle for change and growth in others. We see that we can make a difference.
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