Thursday, 28 January 2016 14:34

February Superintendency Message

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Marked for Good -

In his book, Eight Habits of the Heart, noted entrepreneur and Pulitzer-nominated author, Clifton Taulbert, wrote about his childhood growing up on the Mississippi Delta.  Taulbert recalled, “High expectations were commonplace in our community.  They fueled our dreams.  They were bigger than all of us--collective dreams worked out individually.  The adults in our community told us daily that we were of value and that big things were expected of us.  Even now I feel compelled to do my best!  In spite of legal segregation, racism and poverty, they believed in their children.  Those foundational people took a giant leap into a world we could not yet see but one they knew awaited us.  They told us that we were ‘marked for good’ and we believed them.”

As educators, we serve in a role similar to the “foundational people” of Clifton Taulbert’s childhood. Think about those who helped build high expectations in your life.  It may have been a teacher, family member, coach or advisor.  In each case, it’s as though these key individuals were able to see something within us that we were not yet able to envision.  As a result, their words inspired and lifted us through periods of personal doubt and discouragement.  To this day, I still pay tribute to and honor those vital people who helped convince me that I was “marked for good.”

Recently, I received a note from a grateful mother whose son had been struggling in school.  “Then,” this mother states, “Mr. Newbold entered my son’s life.  He always speaks positive to my son and tells him that he can do math.  Mr. Newbold welcomed my son to come early and stay late to work with him until all homework was made up and he began passing tests.  More than giving my son a second chance, Mr. Newbold restored my son’s pride in his scholastic abilities.”  My favorite part of the letter is this unique closing, “My son keeps checking to make sure that I’ve sent this e-mail because he thinks Mr. Newbold is an ‘awesome dude and we should tell his boss.’”

Each fall, the PDK/Gallup Poll conducts a national survey to assess the public’s attitudes toward schools.  When asked in their latest poll to identify the most important measure of a school’s effectiveness, 81% of parents responded, “The percent of students who feel hopeful about their future.”  In other words, they want their children to understand and internalize that they’ve been “marked for good.”  I invite each of you to set young people’s sights on a world they may not have yet fully imagined.  Help them see their bright future and the contribution they can make to our community, country and world.  The generation of children in our schools today has definitely been “marked for good.”

Read 2081 times Last modified on Monday, 24 October 2016 13:31