It was a late Friday afternoon in the fall, and I was running the cross country loop at a local school. One of those beautiful, yet warm afternoons where it still feels like summer. There was a field hockey team finishing up their practice by running laps around the track as I passed by on the country loop.
There were several student-athletes running pretty well, some average pace, and a few that were really struggling, almost speed walking instead of running. They were doing the best they could, and what I witnessed next was just wonderful.
We hear so many stories of students being cruel to one another, saying hurtful things, or just being plain old mean. What I saw was the total opposite. Each athlete who was running at a good clip, who was coming up behind the students who were struggling had something positive to say to the other: “come on you can do it”, “keep going”, “one step at a time.” One girl even slowed to run alongside another student-athlete, while another stopped to encourage her as she was leaning on the fence. This was super inspiring to watch and really heartwarming to see.
Without sounding like a Hallmark afterschool special, this is what we want to see in our kids in our communities. There is kindness out there and there are raw models.
We as school leaders should continue to celebrate these behaviors as well as model them for others. These young ladies on this field hockey team modeled empathy, loyalty, and kindness. They inspired me to not only write this blog but to continue my best in trying to support others. #LessonsInKindness.
Quote: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Confucius