I just attended a welcome-back-to-school meeting that touched my heart. The principal, Brian Bizzoco, gave each teacher the following poem with a carefully wrapped seashell. This note was attached.
You are probably wondering why you have been given a seashell. It is a gift to you to help you reflect on another gift you are about to receive–your students. Let’s take a few minutes to consider what the shell can tell us about them.
(Adapted from Mary Madden’s ‘Gifts’)
Maybe your shell is fragile, delicate, and easily broken.
So are some of your students, so we shall handle
them kindly and with care.
Maybe your shell looks beautiful.
Each student in your class has a special beauty.
Discover it and help others to notice it and appreciate it.
Maybe you noticed that your shell has pieces chipped away or broken off.
Some students have had difficult experiences that have chipped away their
positive self-image and broken their spirit. We help to rebuild their self-image
and rekindle their enthusiasm.
The shell you have in your hand is unique.
It was carried to shore by the ocean just for you.
What will you do with it now that it is yours?
Each student in your class is unique, too.
Each one is in your hands now.
What will you do with them, now that they are yours?
Brian reminded teachers that each one has unique gifts to offer and encouraged them to express their gifts. I have no doubt that Brian will help his teachers (and students) flourish. Wouldn’t you love to work where this kind of thinking and feeling is encouraged?