founders blog on the sidelines

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Founders’ Blog: On The Sidelines

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A Pencil can make all the difference!

I have enjoyed the education profession for thirty six years. I have served as a teacher, coach, and administrator. Teachers, coaches and administrators work harder and longer than ever before. They are required to do more with less because of legislation and federal regulations. We continue to fight the good fight because most of us have a passion to influence children in a positive way.

Have you ever felt like the more you do, the less you are appreciated? Many times it seems the more you help someone, the more they desire. It appears they feel entitled.

The newer generation of educators are seeing a different educational system. There has been a shift and change in the attitude in how teachers are perceived by politicians, parents and students. We need to be thankful the newer generation still demonstrates passion for serving children. CCISD’s charge is to give maximum effort to mold the children of this community to be better citizens in the future and reach their potential. We must try to be a positive influence.

The one thing that has not changed over the years is the need to understand children and what they have to go through. Have you ever read the message of “the pencil”? This poem examples what some of our students are going through? We all know some students are lazy and feel entitled. These students frustrate educators because they will never reach their potential.

My concern is for students not achieving due to circumstances beyond their control. A superintendent friend of mine once said, “Students should conform to the rules, because rules are to serve and protect students and they must be followed”. The poem of the “pencil” shows us what we don’t know, is what we don’t know.

Think about it, we are trying to teach some students who come from the worst backgrounds and expect them to come to class or practice ready to learn. In reality, some are just trying to survive. Many want to please, but they don’t know what they never have been taught. Again, I’m not talking about the lazy and entitled. Maybe you will enjoy this poem as much as I did.

“Cause I ain’t got a pencil”

By Joshua T. Dickerson

I woke myself up

Because we ain’t got an alarm clock

Dug in the dirty clothes basket,

Cause ain’t nobody washed my uniform

Brushed my hair and teeth in the dark,

Cause the lights ain’t on

Even got my baby sister ready

Cause my mama wasn’t home.

Got us both to school on time,

To eat us a good breakfast.

Then when I got to class the teacher fussed

Cause I ain’t got a pencil.

Despite making a conscious effort daily to remember everyone’s circumstances are not the same, I still need reminding sometimes. I still need to remember some of our players will attend class without something they need simply because they just don’t have it. It isn’t always forgetfulness. It isn’t always laziness. It isn’t always defiance of the rules. Some of the time, maybe even a lot of the time, they just don’t have it. It isn’t because they don’t want to listen and it isn’t because they don’t care.

Teachers are the real heroes of “my” world. Teachers should never forget what they do matters to children. Think of your teacher that helped you become who you are today. I would encourage you to write them a letter or email thanking them for making a difference in your life.

Thought for the week, “Whether you live to be 50 or 100 makes no difference, if you made no difference in the world.” Jarod Kintz

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