Sunday, November 2, 2014

Important Lesson Learned From Fatherhood

On July 4, 2014, I was blessed with the privilege of becoming a new father to a precious little four year old girl whom my wife and I welcomed into our home through the process of adoption. Our daughter, Chassity, is our first child so we are both very new to the role of a parent and all that this tremendous responsibility involves.

In the four months since Chassity came into our home, I have learned a great deal personally and have a new found appreciation for all that a parent goes through with a child. One specific thing I have been most surprised with is how observant children are of everything that their parents do. It is amazing how fast our daughter has picked up on habits and mannerisms my wife and I have and is repeating them regularly. It really makes you think twice about the things you say and do in front of your children.  

This experience has prompted me to rethink the powerful influence teachers and coaches have over children each and every day. With the amount of time that children spend at school and extracurricular activities, it is certain that they are carefully observing their adult role models at school just as much or more than their parents. If you are like me, I am sure you have found yourself (at least once) engaging in the very thing you hate to see your own children/students doing. With this in mind, it is incredibly important for all of us in education to consider the example we are setting on a daily basis. 

In my opinion, the greatest blessing of being an educator and coach is the opportunity to make a positive and lasting difference in the life of a child. The example we set is instrumental in determining whether this difference is positive or negative. This prompts us all (myself included) to ask some important questions such as...

What kind of example am I REALLY setting for the kids under my care and leadership?

Are my daily behaviors and actions ones that I would be proud of my students/athletes repeating?

Am I modeling, on a daily basis, the character traits I would want to see from the young people I lead?

Do I demonstrate a consistent and genuine love for each of the kids under my care regardless of their behavior or background? 

God has blessed all of us in education with a powerful platform to influence kids. Ultimately, what we do will be far more powerful than anything we say in determining how effective this influence is. As the old saying goes..."Actions speak louder than words." I wish you all the best in this ongoing challenge of making a positive difference in the life of a child. God Bless!

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