How can one persevere in the face of this negativity? How can a professional educator push on and do important work without discouragement and depression? Courage, as the Webster’s dictionary defines it, is “the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous”— the word being derived from Anglo-French and Latin meaning the core or the heart.
Certainly working with children is difficult and challenging. Every child, every class, and every school present a complex and ever-changing web of emotions, social forces, and psychological needs. Each day the web changes, stretching along one dimension and shrinking across another. School administrators and teachers must respond, sometimes instantly, to changes at the individual, school, system, state and society levels.
And yet, in the face of this challenging and ever-changing environment, the vast majority of school people work tirelessly to do the best they can for each student. They seek to provide students with the academic, social and emotional skills to become fully-integrated and contributing human beings in society.
In short, administrators and teachers act courageously every day, often without realizing it, and more frequently without proper acknowledgment. Professionals in schools engage in this challenging and difficult work because they know what a difference they can make. They know the importance of a special teacher or an encouraging administrator. They know the deep truth that, as motivational speaker and author Josh Shipp said, “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.”
“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.” – Josh Shipp
School leaders are courageous every day and in every way, whether they are consciously aware of being courageous or not. They are courageous because they care.