My friend , J, and I drove 50 miles yesterday to attend a workshop. The best part of the day was not the presentation, but the chance to talk in the car. We got caught up on each other's families and how we had each spent the holidays. We talked about the challenges facing our schools with the anticipated budget reductions for the coming year, and, not that anyone would ask us, our solutions for all the problems facing our district .
One thing I miss since I retired is the focused discussions with intelligent, dedicated and visionary people. Most of us got into education because we like kids and we want to make a difference in their lives. When I left the classroom to become an administrator I had the same goal. As an administrator I could help change the system to give kids a better educational environment…or so I thought.
J is now a school administrator and deeply involved in school reform. She was a teacher when I was the vice principal at her school. It was fun to rehash memories from my days as a building administrator. We did some good work back in the day. J reminded me that sometimes it is many years later when you realize the impact of an encouraging word, a wrong turn, or a seemingly insignificant incident.
I am grateful for the people who provided those insights and inspirations for me that had an impact on how I led my life. The people who encouraged me before I had faith in my own abilities pushed me down the path to success. I have a responsibility to be a positive influence for others because I never know when my words or actions could be that turning point for someone else.
Life is good and I am grateful.