‘Tis the Season

By Chad Rodgers, IPLI Mentor and Principal at Greencastle High School

Can you feel it? The craziness of the year is upon us…’Tis the season.

  • Heavy traffic
  • Shopping crowds
  • Office Christmas party
  • Spouse’s family Christmas party
  • The In-Laws are coming! The In-laws are coming! Another Christmas & this one comes with judgments 😉
  • My Shopping list is only 15 % complete
  • My love/hate relationship with Walmart is now hate/hate or simply pure hate
  • I actually feel guilty about what I keep eating the cookies and fudge and homemade treats 
  • (really?, it’s Christmas)
  • I’m paranoid how many websites have my credit cards
  • I’ve got FINALS
  • Grading & papers; and Grading & papers, and Grading & papers

And then for all of us in education…Oh My Gosh the kids!!!!!!

I mean the kids are just non-stop right now.There are students who want to learn but I keep being interrupted by THOSE KIDS 

Constant interruptions in class, students getting pulled, phone calls, emails 

And those parents who NOW have decided to parent. They call, email and they want grade updates immediately, all missing assignments put into the computer, etc

Oh My Gosh…those parents & those kids

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH  ” ‘Tis the Season!” Can’t you just feel it?!?!

Just about every morning on my way to school I have passed the same boy & he has always smiled and waved. Always. Each & every day. It’s like he’s seeing me for the first time.

Whether it’s been nice out (Like earlier in the year), or now I can barely see him in the dreary early morning darkness. But he’s there, and he always smiles and waves as I go by.

His attendance is great; his grades are not. We haven’t seen much of him in the office until now…and many of my teachers have begun to notice him too. He could start to be classified by some as one of THOSE KIDS. 

I assumed he smiled and waved at me because I was the cool principal or he just admired the old mini-van I was cruising in. Silly me…

I was simply an adult that was there day in and day out.

I was part of a building that had water day in and day out.

A building that always had A/C or heat when needed

A building that didn’t just feed him once, but fed him twice

That’s probably where the near perfect attendance came from.

He doesn’t live in “ my ‘Tis the Season stressful” world. The one with: 

  • Too many Christmas parties
  • A Christmas List that doesn’t exist, let alone 15 % finished
  • Walmart is like a shopping spree for him. That’s when he can get a ride out there.
  • He’s not experienced bad traffic, because he’s never been to Plainfield or Indy.
  • There are no sweets or home cooked treats to feel guilty about. 

So as I see him over the next few days, I’ll recenter and refocus, because he’s facing the exact opposite of my so-called challenges and frustrations. My hectic is really an insult to his hectic. Christmas is about faith, family, food, love, giving, sharing and the madness as school stops. For him, the madness gets louder and he leaves all the things that “feel” like Christmas on December 17th. He looks forward to the RETURN of school; not the dismissal and break from it. 

So yeah, ‘Tis the season! Can’t you feel it NOW?  It’s a crazy time for all of us…just a different type of crazy. We are blessed beyond measure, and when our focus is on the correct North Star…we can bless those that we serve. Keep serving, keep your patience and keep it up!