Last Thursday, my five-year-old son Carson fell off a ladder while playing on a playground. As you might expect, we were concerned about any serious injuries, so we took him to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. I was very impressed by how nice and helpful all of the nurses, doctors, and other hospital personnel were. I was especially impressed with Mr. Scot, Chief Prosthetist/Orthotist. Mr. Scot had to take 24 measurements to create a custom-fit back brace for Carson, and the way he interacted with Carson while taking measurements was fun to watch. The two counted together, talked about each measurement, and Mr. Scot answered every single one of Carson’s questions.
After he finished with all of his measurements, we began talking about our options — white, camo, red… and black. I asked Carson if he wanted a black one so he could be like Batman. It didn’t take long for Carson to envision himself looking like Batman when he wore his black back brace with a giant yellow bat symbol on his chest. The decision was made and Mr. Scot said it would be ready in the morning.
As promised, Mr. Scot stopped by our room early that next morning, and just as he did the day before, Mr. Scot visited with Carson and answered all of his questions. Mr. Scot handed me the brace and I noticed the order sticker inside with the printed patient’s name — Carson “Batman” Collier. We joked about that and we thanked him for doing that. Then Mr. Scot worked on Carson’s brace making adjustments, trimming certain parts, and making it fit perfectly. The neurologist came in to make sure the brace was a perfect fit and thanked Mr. Scot for his great work.
As Mr. Scot was packing up to leave, he said, “Oh, one more thing. The folks back at the office made this for you,” and he pulled a batman logo printed on paper from his front shirt pocket (and he even brought tape to attach it). He centered it on Carson’s brace and made it an official batman brace. It was awesome! We thanked Mr. Scot and he headed out.
It was obvious to me that Mr. Scot loves what he does. Every step along the way he showed us that he cared and wanted the best for us. He didn’t do anything extravagant — he just paid attention and his small actions made a huge difference for us.
Often that’s all it takes. It’s not about doing really cool things in our classrooms, using the most up-to-date technology or teaching tools, or planning out-of-this-world activities for students. Sure, those things are great and helpful for student learning, but what really shows students we love what we do is when we pay attention and look for small ways to make a huge difference in their lives.
I want to be like Mr. Scot. I hope we all do.