As educators, we often see the unfortunate aftermath of difficult family situations — divorce, split homes, absentee parents and even abusive relationships. This result in kids, still trying to be kids, while facing very “adult” situations in their home life — situations that force them to grow-up too fast. Sometimes these students come through the smoke and haze with a fierce determination to succeed, other times it leaves them floundering to find stability and a purpose for their life. I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for kids, and parents, who face these difficulties and come through with flying colors in spite of the bumps and bruises. They are truly real-life heroes.
That being said, working families in these difficult situations has reinforced my feelings of appreciation for my parents, and on this Father’s Day, a thankfulness for the positive role my Dad has had (and continues to have) in my life.
I have learned a lot of things in school, but my most important lessons have been courtesy of my parents–especially my Dad.
- Treat others with respect, courtesy and dignity.
- Be patient.
- Do what is right, even when it is the most difficult option.
- Work is a reflection of who you are as a person. Take pride in what you do, even the little things.
- Actively seek opportunities to help others who are less fortunate.
- Adversity highlights opportunities for growth…make the most of it.
- Invest time and love in your family.
- Tell, and show others, they are appreciated.
- Value each moment of every day (still working on this one).
I hope that others see these qualities in my life, because if they do, they are seeing a reflection of my father — the kind of man I want to be.
So, on this Father’s Day, thank you to all parents who work tirelessly to instill the qualities of human decency and success in their children. Know that your efforts are valued and your work is appreciated! You are the most critical educator in your child’s life.
A very Happy Father’s day to my Dad…you are my favorite teacher!