John Harbaugh, coach of the Baltimore Ravens and his brother, Jim Harbaugh, coach at the University of Michigan, have often used the quote above to motivate their players. The quote was passed down to them by their father Jack, a life-long college football coach. The words are a simple reminder to appreciate the best things in life. They encourage us to be grateful for all that we have.
After 30 years in education, there is still nothing more exciting to me than the start of a new school year. The sense of renewal and professional rebirth is palpable. New teachers arrived in our building today to prepare for the students who will be here in two weeks. They are so excited and energetic. Their passion is contagious. Our veteran teachers have been trickling in, too. While tempered with wisdom and experience, their enthusiasm is equally strong.
The school year is long. Challenges can come from every direction, but in August everything is possible. New teachers can launch fulfilling, long-lasting careers. Veteran teachers can re-invent themselves. In education, we get to start anew every year. This phenomenon seems unique to the field of education. How many careers have renewal built into their calendars? Who’s got it better than us?
Before we launch into the new school year, let’s take a moment to reflect on how special our field is. We get to play a small part in the lives of children. That small part can lead to great things. We should never take for granted just how far our reach goes. What we do matters and it matters every day. What tremendous opportunities we will have this year! The staff is preparing. The students are coming. Who’s got it better than us?