Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Learning 2013 - Part A

It is morning and cold in the house.  I don't look forward to heading out today, though I know this is inevitable at some point.  It is New Year's Eve 2013, and there are noise makers and goofy party hats to purchase.  Dick Clark's Rockin' NYE on the tube tonight, even if Ryan Seacrest hosts and Dick Clark is departed from this life.  I wonder if they will change the title of the show in future years.  I drink coffee and begin to warm up and think about the past year and so ask my wife about her 2013.  Surely she will have a lot to say about it, as there have been many highs and lows for her this year.  She does not let me down.  As she talks, however, my mind wanders over my own 2013 and I think about goals and how I don't usually set them and I settle upon a quote I read somewhere online yesterday that said something along the lines of, "putting your thoughts and ideas on paper lets you start fixing them."  And I thought this was wise advice.

Now to start... that will be my first goal for 2014.  Just start.  At some point.  Any time now...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Good Reminder

Walking in to a quiet school today, I had no idea what to expect.  I think it is like that every day we walk in to our schools, which is one of the reasons we love it here: no day is the same as the one before it.  Today would be very different, however, as I received a visit from a former student.  She is a freshman this year, and thought she'd pop in to see if I was here over Winter Break.  I was, of course, and she ended up staying for the better part of the day.  We had lunch with my assistant principal (we both work most days over the holiday), and while perhaps I didn't get as much done as I had planned, I could not think of a better way to spend a cold, wintry day than with a student I am honored to know.

As educators, we keep in contact with many students over the years, and always like to think that we are making a difference in their lives.
Sometimes we don't see that until years later.
Sometimes not at all.
Sometimes we hear of their trials and tribulations.
Sometimes we hear of major success stories and all we can do is sit back and listen, in awe of the changes in mindset and life choices these kids make over the years as they journey into adulthood.

This was my experience today, and it reminds me of the reasons I went into education in the first place.  It sounds so very cliche, that response of:  "I want to make a difference in the lives of children."  When you see it live, up close and personal, however, there is nothing better.  The power of building relationships, of working to help kids make sense of it all, goes a long way.  We read of the impact this has in the classroom - of the student transformations, both academically and personally, that can transpire when there is a solid bond between educator and student.  What we don't read or hear about as often is the power this has to change the life of the adult as well.

My life has changed for the better many times over because of the things I have learned from students, because of the bonds that have been created over the years, because of the countless hours per week I have spent with these incredible kids.

I am honored and blessed to be in the field of public education today.