While I can't believe the length of time that has passed between this post and the last, here it is nonetheless, and it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving (although I am extremely thankful for many things, at the top of my list being family, health, and employment in a career that I am passionate about). And so, to get to the point, I want to take a minute to say thanks for giving me the ammunition necessary to keep going in the direction I have been headed for the last 13 years. That was the time I got into the education field, and although I didn't realize it then, my reasons for staying in this field would change over time. I came to education because of two beautiful little girls and their mother who, through their concerted efforts and brainwashing capabilities, made me realize how much I had to give back to kids. I certainly never could have come to this conclusion on my own, nor did anyone seem to think I could give back to my community up to this point. The reasons I have stayed move beyond this simple and exceptionally pure rationale, and progress into the deeper psyche of my inner self. Deep, huh?
So let me say thank you, once again, to those who have given me the ammunition to carry forward. It is because of you, in your elementary, middle and high schools, with your rules for how kids should behave and talk and look and act and sit and walk and eat and smell and breathe, that I can walk as loudly as I like into classrooms and cafeterias and down hallways, that I can talk to kids of all creed and color and let them know that they belong, and have a place in this world, and a purpose for being here. I have learned life's rules by studying the people that I would never want to emulate. I have learned to be the teacher I am today by making sure I don't do things the way my teachers did them. I have learned to be the principal I am today by vowing never to scream at the kids who weren't walking on the correct side of the hallway, the way one principal from my past did to me and a group of kids at our elementary school. We were nine.
Thanks for giving, and for teaching me how to be the leader and mentor I am today. I still have a lot to learn, and I am still looking for a mentor myself, because I realize how cynical this all sounds. I really do understand that the way I look at things is, perhaps, not the healthiest way to look at things, but it is what I know how to do. Thank you for giving me the greatest gift I possess - that which I can give back tenfold to those who deserve it the most.