The “Big Picture”
Before visiting a school, I often do some research to see what adventures await me. I soon discovered that Covington Elementary School is enormous. When I realized I would be speaking to over 750 students in 34 different classrooms, I knew I had a challenging day ahead. However, as soon as I entered the building, I noticed that the students and staff at Convington don’t let the “bigness” of the school ruin their understanding of the “big picture.” They are all working together to achieve their stated mission of creating lifelong learners and responsible citizens. When you have so many people working together for a common goal, great things happen, and I certainly saw incredible things happening at Covington!
Despite the building size, the climate of the school made me feel at home. Music, artwork, and inviting spaces made me want to be there, and I’m sure the students feel the same way. When I visited each of the classrooms, I encouraged the students to join me in my mission to celebrate their teachers. I sensed that this would not be a problem because the students already seemed to understand how special their teachers are. The feeling of community and mutual respect made me quickly forget the size of the school.
The hardest part of my job this year is leaving a building and wondering if I’ve truly made a difference. I am rarely able to return to a school, so I often wonder if the students really got the “big picture” of my message. As I was packing my things at the end of the day, one of the second grade teachers handed me a packet. Inside were letters from her class, and they provided just the feedback I needed. The letter below is just one sample of their awesome writings. The sentence, “I like how you talked about how teachers can be gems,” made me want to do a cartwheel. These students did understand the “big picture!” The teachers at Covington ARE gems, and I left knowing I could trust the awesome students there to carry out my mission. Thank you, Covington Elementary School for letting me visit. You are a large school with a mighty mission, and I know you will continue to do great things. You are clearly focused on the “big picture”, and I celebrate you!