We’ve reached the home stretch! On Friday we will say good-bye to another group of grade six students and several staff members. All of these individuals have put their stamp on our school by the very nature of their being.
The same is true for all of us. Simply by being ourselves, we influence those around us. The imprint of this year is unique. We have laughed together, learned together, cried together, grown together. We have had a successful year because of the individuals that make up the collective. Next year will be different still.
As we say good-bye to those leaving our building, we give this advice: In a world where you can be anything, be yourself. Be the best version of yourself.
You will be missed.
The other night I saw a flock of birds: circling, diving and gliding in unison in the middle of a downpour with lightning flashing in the sky above. I admire their persistence despite the storm.
It’s hard to believe we’ve hit the home stretch. As teachers we know this is the busiest time of the year. If those birds cannot only survive but also seemingly enjoy the stormy skies, surely we can survive and relish in the hectic nature of these last days of the school year.
Be attentive for unexpected pleasures… we just don’t know what each moment might bring!
I know kids whose parents bring them breakfast in bed, every day. I know kids whose parents rescue them at the slightest sign of a hangnail. I know kids who are never told ‘no’ by their parents.
I don’t envy these kids. They’ve been given the message that their world will be roses. They’ve been led to believe that society revolves around them and that decisions will always be made in their favour.
And yet, when I think about the times in my life that I didn’t get my way, I realize it is precisely those times that made me who I am today. It’s hard to develop integrity, empathy, perseverance and patience when the answers are always yes.
In the course of my day, sometimes I have to say ‘no’ to kids or to parents. That’s when I remind myself that my job is not to make everyone happy. My job is to make the decisions best for the children in my care. Sometimes, the short term disappointment leads to benefits we can’t anticipate.
As Vivian Greene once said, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”