Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy teacher appreciation week and Mother's Day

One of the singular joys of being a middle school principal is seeing new life emerge at your school. To wit:
• The newly planted elm, ash, and desert willow trees sending forth leaves and providing the first shade on our western quadrangle.
• Our newly reestablished girls’ soccer team finishing the regular season undefeated and then coming within a whisker of winning the Metro Middle School Soccer Tournament before losing in the last minutes to Cleveland.
• Seeing new clubs and activities such as Builders Club, Razzle Dazzle, and AVID be made available to our kids.

A bumper sticker on the back of a Taylor teacher’s car reads as follows: Those that can DO; those that can do more TEACH! Growing up, I heard the version of this saying that said that those that can’t do teach. I now realize that this is a grossly unfair and ridiculous statement. Teachers really sow the seeds of democracy in our children and lay a strong foundation, in cooperation with parents, for civil society. I would like you to consider some quotations about teaching and teachers:
• “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well”. – Alexander the Great

• “He who opens a school door, closes a prison”.—Victor Hugo

• “A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others”. – Author unknown

• “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops”. – Henry Adams

• “Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.” – George Burns

Speaking of the importance of teachers, it is commonly acknowledged that mothers are their children’s first teachers. Children who grow up with strong maternal support and instruction generally become stable productive adults.

Interestingly when a student ends up in the principal’s office with a discipline referral, 9 times out of 10 they want me to call their mom (or grandma or auntie). Why? Because they know mom loves them and will ALWAYS love them. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, I encourage all of you to reflect on the important role moms play in our lives and in our society. Thank you to all Taylor moms, grandmothers, aunties, great grandmothers, and foster moms for the powerful impact you have on our students.

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