Saturday, August 27, 2016

Unlimited Together

This post was co-written with Lindsy Stumpenhorst, an amazing educator who is Team Kid all the way.

Previously, I (Eric, a principal in Eastern IA) wrote a blog borrowing the title and including Nike’s commercial, ‘Unlimited You.’ (Nike always puts-out great commercials. And, right now, they are on fire with their advertising. That blog resulted in some back and forth Voxing with my (Eric’s) PLN/Admins In Action friend, Lindsy, a principal in Northern IL. Our conversation resulted in the decision to co-write a blog. An idea was born. In addition to ‘Unlimited You,’ Nike also has ‘Unlimited Together.'
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Phrases from this clip spoke to the both of us, if you have a few spare minutes to watch you won't be disappointed. 

We Need Glory for a While…. Doesn’t it feel great to receive recognition? When my own children do something special, I (Lindsy) always point it out, because chances are...if I recognize it, they will do it again! We expect teachers to do a good job, care about our kids, and go the extra mile. I hear often “That’s part of their job!”...but let me tell you about teachers. Teachers send you a photo of your child smiling on the first day (because you cried at drop off), Teachers create a memory book of your child’s school year so they can remember how amazing 3rd grade was, and Teachers spend hours writing notes to every student in their class so they always remember how special they are. Teachers go above and beyond their job everyday, because they love kids. Let’s give them thanks, we all need a bit of glory. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-27 at 7.57.22 AMWherever You Go, I'm Right By Your Side...I (Eric) told teachers that some things might take a little bit longer to get done during this first year in my new position because I was going to heavily invest in relationships. As a result, I’ve been forced to wait until after dark to begin checking, sorting, and replying to email. This has been when I am dog tired. But these past couple of nights, I have been absolutely blown away by a couple of the emails that I’ve received. I’ve received a couple of the kindest, most encouraging emails from some of our teachers. Reading those emails is like the equivalent of drinking an entire pot of coffee. It is re-energizing. It feels great. Heartfelt, positive encouragement is the best resource that we have at our disposal. And it is unlimited. We can give it out whenever, wherever, to whomever. What are we saving it for? Let’s make an effort to make someone’s day, everyday. We are all in this together. We have to be. 

We Want Some Heroes In Our Story… Yes! Of course we want heroes and happy endings in all of our stories. A hero doesn’t have to wear a cape, though, either. Like Batman says in the The Dark Knight Rises, “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulder to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.” Heroic acts happen ALL OF THE TIME in our schools. But too often we take those acts for granted. We only feel the urge to celebrate the monumental accomplishments and/or events. Let’s change that; let’s work really hard to acknowledge our heroes, daily, for their amazingness. I’m (Eric) guessing, if we do this, the heroic acts that we see in schools are going to increase. 

Save The Day… I (Lindsy), have seen teachers cry, laugh, hug, and celebrate with their students. No, wait...with their kids. They’ve been called “mom”, “grandpa”, “hey you”, and sometimes a not so nice pronoun, but still, they respond with a smile and a gentle word. Life happens for teachers. They have stress, problems, and tragedy...just like the rest of us. Although unlike the rest of us, kids don’t understand adult problems, nor should they. Last year my staff became aware of the tragic unexpected passing of a staff member minutes before the start of the school day. We made the decision to begin the day as usual, greeting students on the playground after first matter how hard it was to be selfless. Teachers swoop in to save the day and rarely do they ever ask for thanks. They have stars in their eyes on the first day of school, and tears in their eyes on the last. 
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People, People, We Would Like You To Know We would like you to know this...teaching has never been easy, and it never will be. The future looks bright, because we see the Angels who shape it everyday. We see the life changing impact of our teachers. We’re right by their side...please join us, and be right by their side.    

1 comment:

  1. Love it Ya'll!!!!! Pleasure to call you my PLN mates and colleagues.