“Today, I am here to be the best that I can be. To lift up our community, to be the best that we can be. To make each second count. To make new mistakes and learn from them. To support my teammates in our mission to make the world a better place. I am proud of my hard work, but I am humble. I still have a lot of work to do. Above all, I am grateful for those who have made my life better. I am ready to get to work.”
Every morning, our students recite our school pledge, listed above. I’ve heard it so many times that I am also able to recite it. I have it posted in my office above my desk as one of many motivating reminders when I struggle to find or remember the meaning and purpose of what I do and who I serve.
Working with children is hard. Period. My office is nestled in a space where I have the joy of hearing our elementary students and our middle school students. I never know from day to day what I might hear. Sometimes it’s the joyful exuberance of second graders. Other times it’s the patient instruction of our band directors. You just never know.
Earlier this week, I heard an exchange between a teacher and a student. Apparently the student had engaged in some form of inappropriate behavior, and the teacher was insisting that the student apologize. The more that the teacher insisted on an apology, the more the student refused. Their voices escalated, and then I heard both the teacher and the student storm down the hall.
But it was what I heard later that really caught my attention.
Maybe 20-30 minutes later, I heard the same teacher and student having an exchange. But in this case, the teacher was apologizing to the student for the way in which he spoke to him. While I couldn’t hear the entire exchange, I did hear the teacher say, “I apologize for speaking to you that way. I should not have done that…”
Teachers make mistakes too, ya’ll. But what I love is that this teacher owned it, and showed his student the respect that we all deserve. Even the smallest of us deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
I won’t say that my school always gets it right. But I will say that each day the students AND adults in the building commit to that pledge, and our community is better because of it.
Until next time…
Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!