October 28, 2015, Chino Valley- We have reached the point where whatever might have passed for a “honeymoon”, between my present school and me, has dissipated. This is not a bad thing. It means only that my stated mission, to safeguard the well-being of twenty-one children, while challenging them, academically and socially, is more on my shoulders than it is prescribed by those above me.
Administration has its place, and it is a vital place, indeed. Teamwork is also vital. Yet, at the end of the day, it is what a teacher can accomplish, when everyone else around him or her is either indisposed or overwhelmed, that makes the difference in the life of a learner. It is easy for a child to love and admire a teacher who is ever congenial and accommodating. The rub comes when the docent holds the bar higher.
I have to raise my bar a bit higher, day by day. I see things coming, that must be faced, and solved, by the now mostly adult Millennials, and by the emerging Generation Z, who include all the children I have taught for the last five years, and all whom I will teach, for the next five. They have a lot of innate wisdom, but they also face many of the same conflicts and growth challenges that we all faced in childhood and adolescence. In addition, all the failures of those of us before them will lie at their feet- just as those of our forebears cast shadows on our tenure as the generation of leadership.
I seek to foster independence, but not swagger, bravado and insolence, about which more tomorrow.