Regular readers of this blog know that I am changing schools next year. Yesterday was my last day at school with the students and an emotional day it was. I have only been at my current school two years, but the relationships I have developed with students, families and staff have been deep and meaningful. Yesterday was full of hugs, thoughtful cards etc. It was humbling and I was deeply moved by the outpouring of affection.
I remember when Charles Barkley was a brash young NBA star he had a famous Nike commercial where he emphatically said, “I am not a role model!” Sorry Chuck, like educators, you don’t have a say – being a role model comes with the role. Last night when I was reflecting on the day, I started to think of the impact we have as educators. Like it or not, we are among the most influential forces in young people’s life. We are going to have influence and a deep impact on the lives of the students we serve. That is a huge responsibility – in many ways a child’s engagement in school is entirely dependent on us. Perhaps it’s not fair, but it is reality.
I know as I move on to new challenges and learning, I will keep these thoughts in the forefront of my mind. Am I modelling mutual respect, communication, humility, humour, patience, open-mindedness? I will try, the kids are depending on it.