I remember sitting in the back of my parent's station wagon on a trip to my grandparents' house and asking "Are we there yet?" five minutes into the ride. My dad would always tell me, "When we pass the Rockaway Mall we will be halfway there." I remember as a kid getting excited to see the mall and all the cars. It gave me something to look forward to as I did like listening to the music my parents played in the car and I knew we were getting closer to seeing my grandparents.. Sometimes though I also thought, "man, we still have 30 minutes to go? Why is this taking so long?
In schools in the Northeast, it is right about the end of the second marking period, the "unofficial" halfway point in the school year. We are actually finishing up day 86 at our school (but who is counting.) I had to look it up. I'm not one to count down days....I make days count. It is a time to reflect on the many things you have accomplished with your students but also to look forward with anticipation and excitement for what is to come. Yes, there are going to be days where you feel like asking "Are we there yet?" and there will be days when you wish that you had more time to get in what you need to with your students. Take advantage of each day. Capitalize on the bright spots and grow stronger from the difficult ones.
Remember that our students probably feel the same way. The goal is... how can we all work together to get each other to the top of the mountain? Before we know it, June will be here and we will be saying, "Wow, that was a quick trip to the top." Don't forget to enjoy the trip. You only get one opportunity with the group that sits in front of you. Don't tell them to hang in there.. Show them how to do it through your passion, energy, enthusiasm and desire to see them succeed. When your students believe that you will help them get to the top, you are never going to have to ask "Are we there yet?" You will be there.
You are already halfway. Keep going. Enjoy the trip.
Richard M. Hayzler
A life long educator and current Principal of Pequannock Township High School in NJ, Rich is excited to share his ideas and thoughts about education and how we can change the world for our students and our staff.