This weekend, as I was reflecting on my week, I ran across an article by Daniel Steele entitled “Letter to a Discouraged Student“. This was a very profound letter. Beautifully written from a principal to student perspective. While I have no idea if this was actually written for a specific student or for the general masses. One thing is for sure, it applies to every student who struggles with school and every student who did struggle with school. I can relate to this letter.
We as educators always put ourselves in the place to make things better for kids. I am not the type of person that likes to be at the front of attention, especially in large crowds. Being in a leadership position at times does put you at the forefront. Remembering my first year as an Athletic Director being put in the position of heading one of the largest departments in the district was a real growing moment in my professional/personal life. At the end of each year, we held an athletic awards banquet. Of course, the MC? Me. This was a nerve-racking situation for me all year. I started working out what I was going to say months before it was time. In the end, it was fine. I was nervous, to say the least. The next year I repeated the event and pushed through.
While I know that this was a weakness of mine, it didn’t stop me from doing what was important, being there for kids. Most recently I was in a similar position where our student-body was looking for people to be part of a fundraiser that in the end, the winner would get a pie in the face in front of the whole school. There were some pretty popular teachers as well as the Principal that all signed up. I figured I would be way down the list before getting picked. Nope! I was in the top three. So that meant pie in the face! Now, this is something that put me in front of everybody again. I did it because it was important to kids.
Kids, I know my weaknesses and I know my strengths. Being part of the attention is not one of them. But know that even if it means being front and center with the spotlight on me, if that is what you need, I will do it. Know that I am in your corner.