Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dunk Tanks: Not Just for Administrators

Our Students Have Their Own "Dunk Tanks"

Dear Readers,

My latest read, published by @burgessdave did not disappoint. As with all of his books, it resonated with me on several different levels. 

I may not be an administrator and my students may not be adult leaders, but I saw many connections to the social interactions they navigate on a daily basis.

As adults, we live in a world full of joy and sorrow, optimism and pessimism, sincerity and phony, kind and cruel. We face people who are consumed with jealousy, revenge, fear, insecurities and negative intentions. 

However, as we grow and experience life, we also accumulate tools and coping strategies to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly. We build support structures around us, learn how to handle negativity with grace and stand behind what we know to be true even when people say otherwise.

The stories shared in this book are of men and women, young and old, new and veteran educators, building and district level administrators. They are snippets of colleagues doing everything in their power to make others look bad, climb the "corporate" ladder at any expense and put themselves first. 

As I was reading I kept thinking back to the most important people I surround myself with on a daily basis and why I became an educator, my students.

Every day I watch my amazing middle school students as they enter a world of increased demands; socially, academically, athletically, musically or artistically. 

For what might be the first time in their lives they encounter others who say or do malicious things to tear others down and make them feel insecure, worthless or isolated.

As a middle school teacher, I need to teach not just academics, but social skills as well. I spend quite a bit of time, building relationships and having important conversations about bullying, language, intentions, etc. 

I know they look to me as a mentor, listener, problem solver, teacher, "safe" adult to confide in, etc. In order to be these things for my students, I need to live and model positive intentions as well.

My hope is, everybody finds it in themselves to remember why we are doing what we do. Children are the center of education and intentions must be toward the best interest of all students. 

They are our today. 
They are our tomorrow. 
They are our future. 
They deserve the best.