Thursday, December 24, 2015

When 1.5 Doesn't Look Any Better Than 1

Everything gets better with time, right? 

Well, I wish I knew who said this, because I would ask them to show me proof. Direct me to the person or persons who can testify that this is so. Better yet, point me to the classroom and or school that has and is currently living this reality. 

I say this because being a leader of a school is not easy and nor do I believe it should be. There are far too many lives at stake for this job to be a walk in the park. And although I am speaking specifically as a principal, I do not confine my sentiments to only the commander in chief. If you work with children in any capacity, then you too have the difficult job of pouring into our nation's most precious and undervalued resource. 

Yes, your job is difficult; and yes, this job requires you to go beyond what is being asked of you to truly make an impact. But the raw truth is, you will never be able to do what needs to be done if you allow a program or mandate to drive what you do for kids. Does this mean the hours will be long? Yes. And does this mean that the immediate fruits of your labor will be minimal to non existent? Absolutely. But that is why you entered the profession in the first place, right?

You knew going in that you were dealing with a human product; and that the industrialized assembly line fashion of America's public education system would never produce a graduating class with 100% proficiency by 12th grade. You  knew before your very first education course that this system was failing far more than it was helping; and yet, you stayed the course. You decided at some point that a difference was possible and you believed it could and would happen with you. 

And you, like me, didn't let this truth break you. You somehow picked up the pieces to your broken heart and began opening day of your very first classroom. You did all this knowing that it may get worse before it ever gets better; and that you may never reap the rewards your hard work should afford you. Even so, you awaken each day with a refreshed sense of urgency. You vow to do what is best for the kids before you everyday because YOU feel they are worth it. You feel they are worth your best regardless of what's going on in the school climate, in the community, in public policy and yes, even at home. 

And for this reason, I commend you. However, before I go I want to leave you with this quote: