Thursday, April 3, 2008

CEC Conference Keynote: Henry Winkler

First, I have to say, that I’ve never met a celebrity more approachable, personable, who acted like one of “us”. He did not put on any airs or act like he was even famous. I can't imagine how many pictures he took but he was overly accommodating and didn't act like he minded one bit. I grew up watching Happy Days and like all young girls, had a huge crush on “The Fonz.” Of course I may never wash my cheek again since I did get a big hug from him!

Even though Henry Winkler suffers from dyslexia, he graduated from Emerson College and Yale University. His speech was enlightening and extremely motivating. Speeches like this made me glad that I was a teacher and he made me feel like I have made a difference in someone else’s life. I wrote down some things that he said that really moved me and I hope you will feel the same.

“When you have a negative thought, it becomes a sentence, and then a paragraph…”

“Don’t put a period at the end of a negative sentence. Don’t finish a negative thought because it can’t grow.”

“If you will it, it’s not a dream” – was on a metal cutting that he was given.

“Chinese proverb: All the flowers of tomorrow are the seeds of today. “
“Teachers are the watering can.”

“We have to make the most of ourselves because we only get one chance to do something important or it will remain undone forever.”

“Take action when children are young enough and give them strength enough to fly.”

“When things get rough, brush yourself off and get right back up.” He mentioned how he always felt like those punching bags with sand in the bottom and each time it was hit, it bounced right back up.

“You’ve got greatness inside you and how you learn has nothing to do with that greatness.” Tell this to children who are having problems with learning.

Another thing to tell children, “Figure out what your gift is and give it to the world.”

He told his children, “I don’t care what the grade is as long as you are trying.”

Mr. Winkler says we should keep telling children “You’re great!”

“If people keep telling children they are stupid and they believe it, why not tell them they are great and get them believing that instead.”

“Art is not an afterthought.”

“Sometimes the arts are the only way that unlocks a child to be all that they can be.”

Photo credit: Henry Winkler, The Fonz by Spike55151


Betty said...

I love Henry Winkler and am so glad that you shared some of his thoughts. I especially like the one about a negative thought turning into a sentence and then a paragraph. It is cool that you got to meet him.

Angela Maiers said...

Pat, I LOVE your coverage of the conference. I am going to IRA in Atlanta soon, and I am going to follow your lead. Henry presented there several years ago, and I love his message. He has a great video chronicling his experiences as a learner. Lovin' your blog! Angela

loonyhiker said...

betty and angela: glad you enjoyed this post. I loved hearing him, speaking to him, and just being in the same room as him! He was so motivational and inspirational!