Last week, I had the pleasure of spending some time with some colleagues to do interviews. Between the interviews, we conversed about some things, but most of the best times were when we had the chance to really speak to one another about things going on at the schools within the county. Somehow, we started talking about schools’ CCRPI scores, and in comparison to some others, I said that our school was currently at a 57.3. Ms. Lockett, one of our system’s ELA Coordinators said, “Oh, but we believe in the power of the word, ‘yet,’ Dr. Gardner.” And that, my friends, triggered my writing brain.
I was encouraged. I was rejuvenated and ready to do the work. In looking at the definition of the word, I was able to see that “Yet” in the adverb form has at least three meanings. Those meanings were, “Up until the present time,” “So far,” and my favorite meaning….”Until now.” I thought about what that meant. Until now. Every place and everywhere that we go has a history. We know the history of the places we visit because others share it with us. The people that we encounter have a history, and we have our own. As individuals, we share, hide, or protect our own history, based on the skeletons or things that are part of our being that others may or may not approve of. When those places and people come together, we have a “Yet” moment that can have a huge impact on us and a huge impact on those places. Those places (and people) may not have reached full potential, YET the capacity to reach and exceed that potential always exists. UNTIL NOW, those places and people may have experienced neglect or may have played a role in the neglect. Until now, those places and people may have established a reputation that caused or may have caused others to stray. Yet, here I stand in the driver’s seat looking to pull the rope to get the wagon that is Kennedy Road Middle School up the hill.
At the faculty meeting this week, I showed THIS VIDEO where Steve Harvey and Oprah discussed how success was like pulling a wagon. In it, Harvey spoke of how there’s one person pulling the rope in front of the wagon, but he also stated how everyone in the wagon has a job to do to get the wagon to the top of the hill. Harvey continued by sharing that some people have to be outside of the wagon, moving the rocks (obstacles) that lie ahead. Others must have a foot outside of the wagon, pushing it along to make and fulfill the journey. The issue arises when some people in the wagon lift their feet up and become too comfortable to help move the wagon. The job for the one pulling and those helping to get the wagon up the hill becomes more difficult, YET the wagon can still move….those movements could be in small increments, and the only way the wagon could get to the place where it was intended to be was to let those off the wagon who were not working to get it to the top. The awesome things about the picture Harvey paints here is the wagon example applies to multiple aspects of our lives, and fulfilling the purpose in our lives has a huge impact on our ability to do miracle work.
As I reflect on this, I see that it was never intended for everyone on the wagon to make it to the top of the hill. Truthfully, some people are comfortable hanging out on the incline. Until now… If you’ve ever been on a treadmill, you know it’s a bit more difficult walking or running on the incline than doing the same on flat terrain. But the results of working to make it up the incline are far greater than continuing on common ground. We have about 12 weeks of school left, and if I were to be completely honest, I can say that I’m just now starting to see the complete vision of the work it takes to get to the peak. We have a unique opportunity to do something great for the kids we serve. It’s ironic because people want the opportunity to do things, but they miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. Opportunity doesn’t have on the most fashionable clothes and it doesn’t have the most beautiful face, but one thing that’s consistent about opportunity is that things change every time it shows up….and WE must take advantage.
So I’m aware of what Kennedy Road looks like in regards to state reports or numbers. We haven’t made our true impact YET. The pieces are coming together, and the story is being written, even now. I’m just honored to have the opportunity to change the narrative…and I’ll keep pulling the wagon until the wheels fall off. Even then, it’ll be time to hop out of the wagon, pick it up, and continue carrying it up the incline. I have a “peak” mentality, and when we get there, we’ll drink the lemonade that we make out of the lemons.
Be great. Be accountable.