Seen in their natural habitats, animals exhibit their truest behaviors. They forget the responsibility for insuring the success of the herd and look only to protect themselves. Think of the teacher with closets full of supplies while the rest turn to funding sites to beg in a socially acceptable way for markers, erasers, paper, or scissors. Think of the teachers who see the classroom as their personal domain, as if it is an extension of their homes, so much so that they are put out when a transient is assigned to their classroom for a period or two.

Maybe it would be good if some kind of animal whisperer came into contact with these egocentrically inclined professionals. The trainer could show them the good of building strong relationships with other members of the pack. Their enlightened ways might help them share some of their resources or maybe even knock stressfulness down a level or two. Of course, the truest habits of an animal comes out in the most natural environments.

Old dogs, new tricks?

A student looked rushed to get to class. I often offer hall passes to students when they are late, especially when they look as stressed as this young person did.

“How are you?” I asked.

“Late,” he replied.

“Do you want a pass?” I asked.

“No, nobody’s gonna mess with a kid who has cancer.”

I was caught off guard. He went his way. I went mine.

Some things are bigger than being late for third period, huh?

city new york statue of liberty usa
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Who knew Lady Liberty’s hair was done
All the way up top?
Who figured it wouldn’t be?

It’s like how come they put the Alamo
In the middle of the city?
Couldn’t they have put it in the ‘burbs?

I mean, really,
It’s wonderful how people think.
Really.

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I very nearly cried today.
I fought it back, but they knew.
You know how
That masculine code is, it came into play,
That place where emotion is okay
As long as it’s the ass-kicking
Domination kind, right?

Today was different,
We won our last game and
As we realized that this was it,
I got emotional,
Thinking of how much this TEAM
Carried me,
Just an awesome bunch of kids
Who understood what friendships are,
Who showed what hard work is,
Who were simply fun to be around,
Everyday,
Wins or loses,
Because each day, we played as a team and got better,
Just as we set out to do back in November.

I’m so thankful to have been a part of their growth,
Their spirit something that carried me forward, as well,
And I’m not ashamed to say
That they made me cry
For this is what I’ve always hoped for as a coach
To be part of team
Players, coaches, managers, and parents
Who got it,
That wins and losses are icing, playing time is but a number,
But relationships and improvement are the greatest tasting cake,

And I’ll take that slice every single time.

I wipe my eyes to you guys,
Team on three…

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