Wise words from a school principal
Grade 8 graduation – lots of speeches, uncomfortable chairs and a few fleeting moments when my own grade 8 grad is on stage for the bestowing of the diploma. Who knew that a few thoughtful words by the school principal at the end of the ceremony would capture with absolutely perfect clarity the essence of what it is to teach (and learn)?
This principal was moving on to a position at a new school, so it was his final address and farewell. I don’t remember much of that final speech, with the exception of the last sentence:
“Most of all, I want to thank you students; you gave me so much more than I ever gave to you.”
I was struck by those words as a container for everything that’s important in teaching and learning. The stance of attention, humility, curiosity, openness, collaboration, gratitude and honouring the other.
Those words were a gift and an affirmation of the truest meaning of “teacher”.
So in the spirit of the holiday season I’m passing the gift along. Thanks Mr. Beatty.