Don't Ignore the Good
It’s basic human nature. We dwell on our disappointments. The things that let us down, that irk us, that upset us, that fall short of our expectations are always the things that receive our attention. Why? I think it’s simply because as humans it is our natural tendency to “vent” and get things off our hearts and minds when we are hurt. We don’t want those things to settle in. We want the frustration and the anger “off of us” as quickly as possible.
On the flip side, when we “win”, or get the attention we expected, or successfully reach a goal we don’t commit the time and energy to the celebration of that accomplishment like we should. Why? Because it was “achieved” and we “got it done”. It quickly becomes time to move on to the next challenge because we’ve “made it” on the challenge in front of us.
In our business, we (as educators) spend 90% of our time on the “problems”. We stew over a loss. We brood over a student who refuses to fall in line. We agonize over lessons that aren’t mastered. And, we over-analyze failure and beat the issues to death. It’s just human nature.
So far this year at TISD we’ve had a couple of disappointments and shortages. For me, it’s been one frustration after another with bus mechanical issues. For Tenaha at large, our football team slipped and missed the playoffs for the first time in fifteen years. And, for our administration, there has been time spent with chronic discipline and apathy issues with the same repeated issues from the same repeating students. In society, the world does the same thing. Half of the people in our country feel a certain way about issues and direction, and then wastes hours explaining why the other half of the country is either dumb, wrong, or immoral. Then the other half of the people waste hours of energy and breath explaining why that other half is dumb, wrong, and immoral. The country has become bent on division and complaining.
We’ve become a society that goes out of its way to find what’s wrong and point it out to the world just so we don’t feel like we are alone in our outrage.
I don’t think it’s going to be easy for anyone in any community, society, or government to ever bridge the division. There are too many forces in media, politics,and technology that profit from division. But, maybe here at TISD we can do better. Maybe we can spend more energy on the “good”. We’ve allowed a “few” bad elements paint us in divided colors, when the reality is that the “maroon” is stronger than ever.
- 1st time in school history to go to State Cross Country as a team
- Straight First Division ratings at Marching contest
- JH Athletics teams that have won time and again already this year in impressive fashion
- A teaching staff that continually goes above and beyond the curriculum to try and develop productive citizens
- A 97% attendance rate at school
- An 11 point rise (one highest jumps in Region 7) in the State’s A-F Accountability System to achieve a “B” rating
- Soon the return of the largest attended Holiday Tournament in Texas, Holiday Hoops
- A committed Board of Trustees that has and is addressing:
- various facilities upgrades
- completed turnover of district vehicles
- continuous commitment to top quality activity buses
- continued commitment to addressing route bus issues as necessary
- continued commitment to providing support for the educator profession by approving pay raises above the state minimum and much more in the way of professional support
- Continued fully paid Dual Credit tuition for qualifying students
- A District culture that has attracted some of the best teachers from neighboring districts to give up their Red or their blue to get to be a part of the Maroon.
It can be done. We just have to cut back on the time we spend dwelling on the bad. And, we have to commit more of our time building on the good. It’s human nature working against our effort when we waste our energy on complaining and division. I, as I always have, believe in Tenaha kids. I believe there is “Nothing that is Impossible” as long as we are united in our cause, work hard, and invest the time and energy it takes to accomplish great things.