#ELBlog #186: The finger? Fuhgettaboutit
I love living and working in a small town. I also love being an educational leader. When you are out and about in town however, you can run into a lot of families, students, staff, etc. This is a good thing, and sometimes it can be a bad thing. On a recent trip to the grocery store I enjoyed all of the good, and the bad, in about a total of 10 minutes.
It all started when I ran into some former students. I asked to hear how they were doing, they asked for a letter of reference, and I really enjoyed hearing about their lives post-high school. Next, I bumped into a teacher and we shared some small talk about the day. Then there was a custodian and her son who I enjoyed hearing about his soccer games and his own schooling. Continuing my shopping I picked up some supplies for a school gathering that week. Finally, as I was leaving I connected eyes with a parent whose child struggled in school. I recall going above and beyond trying to help the student and while I was expecting a friendly wave and smile back, she flipped me the bird. That’s right, the finger with a smirk on her face. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. After doing this for so many years, you would think interactions like that wouldn’t bother me. But yet they still do, and it takes a chunk out of the armor. It still hurts.
I just shook my head, did not make any emotions or gestures towards her, and just kept going. I know in my heart what I did for her child, as well as what so many of the wonderful professionals that I work with did for them as well. They went above and beyond, they gave second chances, they were patient, and they gave from their own pockets, all to help the student.
I say forget about it. Fugggeeetttabouit. I say keep moving. I say focus on the positives and the people who still need you and still connect with you. Move on from the negative energy and the people that continue to lash out. This is a tricky time in education now and I commend the many educators constantly adjusting to the changing times.
I commend them all and the work they are doing, as well as the many parents who work on building positive relations with school staff.
When people poke you in the armor, do your best to shake it off and step up. Shake it off and keep rolling.
If I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out at @andrewmarotta21 on twitter.