This Thursday night, my high school held the first of two "Shoot for the Cure" games to support one of our staff members whose son, Scott, was recently diagnosed with with Multiple Sclerosis. It was an emotional game for the DeBell family, the basketball players and to be honest, everyone in the crowd. The boys played with intense passion, purpose and drive. Coach DeBell was full of spirit on the sidelines and the crowd cheered with each basket made. While we were there to watch a game, we were also there to support a young man and his family experiencing a difficult situation. Throughout the process Scott has been following his treatment protocols and taking one day at a time as he regains strength and focuses on a mindset that every day, every hour, every minute matters. If you win that minute, that hour or even a moment. You win the day.
Life is like that for many of our students and quite frankly, for ourselves every day. Everyone is carrying something. Students walk through our doors with the "invisible backpack." Teachers, Administrators and support staff do too. We all need to support each other as we look to "win the day." A student pointed out to me on Friday that she loves it when a teacher says hello to her in the hallway. She feels cared for...she feels important. It makes her feel like a winner. Too often we get caught up in the "busyness and business" of life that we don't relish the small victories that happen to us on a daily basis. As we head into a long stretch run of school following this break, remember to celebrate the small victories, the "little moments," the one on one conversations, the fist bumps, the high fives, the warm "hellos" in the hallway. You never know who "wins their day" because of it. It may help them do better on a test, participate more in the classroom or just make them feel a part of something bigger.
I know that for a few hours on Thursday night the boys did more than "win the game." They helped a community "win the day" for a family that deserves it and hopefully for a young man, help him realize he's not alone in this fight. Every day is a day worth winning. What are you you doing each day to win the day? How are you helping other's win theirs? Let's continue to help those around us (and ourselves) realize that we are part of a larger team and we are in it to win it. #wintheday
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.