The Stump Speech

By Chad Rodgers, IPLI Mentor, Greencastle Community School Corporation

Students need extra help, the time before or after school…Tutoring/Mentoring; Before & after school. “Off the clock” time

Parents call or email; they need that response now. It’s their kid; sometimes their 911

Here, you say, Swing from my branches, eat my apples & sleep in the shade. Be comforted…and the teacher was happy.

Your student has on the same clothes all week; they smell. They are here physically; that’s it. Students have no supplies; they sleep during most classes.

Here, you say, Take my apples to the city and sell them. Have some food & money…and the teacher was happy.

The principal asks more of you and offers more ideas on enhancing scores and local data… More is added to your full plate…You should have grabbed two plates at the start of this year’s buffet line. Your students struggle at home. This school is the safest, cleanest place they have. It has running water, heat & AC. 

Here, you say, Cut my branches and build yourself a home. Take what I have for your comfort and shelter…and the teacher was happy.

Grades are due, Skyward is wrong again, students’ hands are raised & many are late, oh and the bell is about to ring. Assignments need to be regraded; assessments are around the corner; stop all learning, kids… it’s Standardized Test time!

Here, you say, take my trunk. Take my heart and soul so you can build a boat and sail. Sail away to reach your hopes and dreams…and the teacher was happy.

Awards are given, and diplomas are written and signed. Programs are dedicated to children. You have positively and professionally promoted all you can for students and colleagues.

You have shared, cried, bled, collaborated, and sacrificed.

You are a forest of TREES. You are shelter, safety, and source for all who enter GHS. You are the GIVERS of all time. 

I stand here at the end of this year and look out now at a forest of stumps. As professional educators and Giving Trees, it is time for you to rest, replenish and grow again. To be an educator is to be a shelter provider even when no branches are left. You are a provider of knowledge when all fruits of labor have been plucked, and you are an enabler for dreamers to sail when no materials are left…You are GIVERS when there’s nothing left to give, but somehow you find a way. Because even though you’re tired, worn down, and have been taken for all you have…you believe in the student before you.

This summer, please REST, REPLENISH & GROW. 

Thank you.