It was nice to be back in the building with students for five days this week. Our new Wednesday schedule was the first time in more than a year that students were able to see all of their teachers in person in one day. There was a renewed sense of energy in the hallway and an excitement from the students that was palpable. While it gives us hope for the future, it is important to recognize the importance of taking one step at a time.
This year has been a year of building on successes, learning from experiences and recognizing that sometimes the steps we take to get to where we want to go don't always go according to plan or at the pace that we want them to go. Eleven years ago today was the date I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins T-Cell Lymphoma. It is a day that causes me to pause, reflect and appreciate that every step matters. The steps forward, the steps backward, the steps that sometimes go off to the side and even the steps that you don't take, all contribute to your daily success. You have to take time to stop and appreciate the views along the way.
Next week it will be a year since our school met as a staff in two delayed openings days to figure out a plan for what two weeks of remote learning would be like for teachers and students. We've taken a lot of steps since then in a variety of directions. We have gone a long way. Two weeks turned into four months which has turned into a year. Have you stopped along the way to view what you have actually accomplished in your classrooms, what you have accomplished as a school, as a collective community? Everyone wants to take the next step forward in order to get back to what "school" used to be. We have gone through a lot and have learned too much to go back. Let us take one step at a time, celebrating the little victories and recognizing that success is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. I have taken a lot of steps in the past 11 years and I am grateful for every one of them...the easy ones and the tough ones. The last year has not been easy for anyone. However, we have to be reminded that we are never on this journey alone. We are in this together. Every step of the way. We got this. #strongertogether
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.