This past weekend many of you likely celebrated St. Nick. An interesting side note, this tradition is much more popular in the Midwest than other parts of the country, likely due to the local/historical connections with European countries like Germany, Poland, and The Netherlands. Anyway, St. Nick has always been the big kickoff to the Christmas season for my family. Another tradition that has developed in my family is watching The Santa Clause, which gets my vote for best Christmas movie! This weekend, as my wife and I watched Bernard and Charlie try to convince Tim Allen that he actually IS Santa, I began thinking about the power of believing.
For those of you who haven’t seen this movie in a while (I don’t even want to think about the possibility that someone hasn’t seen it at all!) I’ll refresh you quickly. Tim Allen’s character doesn’t believe in Santa, and then he becomes Santa. He struggles with the new reality he is facing but eventually embraces it (I don’t think that’s a spoiler!) Some of the other characters have a hard time believing in Santa as well but, by the end, those who are able to truly believe are rewarded for their belief. So where am I going with this?
As educators we work very hard, investing a lot of time, energy, and emotion into our students. However, on occasion, we lose faith and stop believing that a particular student CAN be successful. We lower our expectations, we stop investing emotionally, or we work to “get them through”. This doesn’t happen a lot, but it happens. We don’t do it intentionally, but we do it. If we’re being honest, it’s natural. With all that is demanded of us as educators, we do the best we can to meet the needs of all of our students but sometimes we subconsciously lose that faith.
What happens, however, when we don’t lose that faith and we continue to truly believe in those students who would likely slip through the cracks? That’s when the miracles happen. It may take a long time, it may never happen, but when it happens it changes lives. It changes students’ lives, it changes teachers’ lives. When I got into education it was because I wanted to be a coach and thought it was a natural connection. I stayed in education, however, because of these students…the ones who needed someone to believe in them! These are the students I’m still in touch with today, they’re the ones who message me when exciting things happen in their life, and they’re the ones who give me the faith that ALL students can be successful.
I’ve gotten to know this staff and community over the last 4+ months and I’d be shocked if there were any kids being left to slip through the cracks. The hard work and support of our students has been next level this school year. Thank you for believing, truly believing, in all of our students, always. The joy for learning that I’ve seen as I visit classes, the smiles each morning, and the tireless effort from each and every one of you this year helps strengthen my faith in education. Our students are lucky to have such amazing teachers working to ensure their success!!!
Make these last couple weeks before break the best weeks of the year so far!! It’s been a crazy journey this year but we’re here, staring down the winter break…it’s the time of the year for believing 🙂