The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasums, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at best know the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
Week 2 in Review
After a second full week “in the arena,” I can see the results of our Benton valiance – our determination and courage to make this year better than our last. I love our enthusiasm. I love our devotion. I am so humbled when I drive into our parking lot or leave it far too late to see all the cars that belong to the dedicated souls who “spend themselves in a worthy cause.” From teachers to coaches to support staff, we are not timid nor afraid to make a difference for our students.
As I was thinking about our progress last week, I realized that we have some areas we need to firm up in our progress forward together. Part of our learning in our pursuit of CARdinal Excellence is that when we make decisions as a school – whether by the students, the leadership team or departments – we must all follow them. If one teacher cuts corners or tries to be “accommodating” or even thinks that doing something so small as letting students leave just a minute early from a class doesn’t really harm anyone, then the perspective of that adult is far too small. Everyone remembers one of Newton’s Laws of Motion, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action.” This doesn’t just get spoken about in Mr. Reynold’s, Mrs. Gastler’s, or Mr. Gastineau’s Physics classes, it works metaphorically in considering school operations. Be diligent to follow our systems of operations and follow through with all school-wide decisions and policies. Believe it or not, this really is what it takes to go from good to great, when we are all on the same rope pulling in the same direction. When one of us decides that our own personal direction is more important than our unit’s direction, it weakens the pull that we have collectively. Please understand, I am not asking you to forego being original or creative – feel free to sing or wear crazy socks (metaphorical yet again) while pulling on the rope – but please don’t let the go of the rope and DO keep pulling in the same direction as the rest of us. We need you.
As school gets rolling again, I am still saddened by those who attempt to bring us down with their deleterious statements. I hope everyone knows that if these statements come from someone outside what Teddy Roosevelt refers to as “actually in the arena,” then we know they do not understand what they speak or the damage they precipitate. The comments that hurt our students and our school the most are the whispers that come from within. I ask you – no, I implore you, do not be the dark whisperer of our school. Instead, challenge yourself to be the tie that binds us together with your words of affirmation and support. It’s probably hard for some to believe, but for those of you who are spreading the good news about Benton, it’s working. I hear so many more positive comments about our school this last year than I have in the previous five. It’s working. Be that great voice that tells others inside and outside our arena how great we are. YOU are a part of us. Be a strong part. Be a strong voice. And by the way, it’s working. I believe in you, and I believe my staff and students – our staff and students – really are amazing. To quote a favorite movie line of mine: “Let it be written. Let it be done!”
Week 3: A Look Ahead
It’s a short week packed full of excitement. I hope some of you make this the week to attend a student event from play try-outs to athletic contests. If you are wondering what’s going on around BHS, check out Coach Ziesel’s activities site at http://www.oneschoolstreet.com. Have a great week!
Friday: Pep Assembly schedule
Saturday: September ACT test
Sunday: Grandparents Day (a call or card would show you CARE!)
~Excellence is a journey not a destination.~
“Handle with Care” signs available at http://www.shippinglabels.com/Fragile-Shipping-Labels/Red-Handle-With-Care/SKU-d416-500.aspx