Being A Difference Maker Against Overwhelming Odds
This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast
“As an educator at the high school level, we are finding that the students are very disrespectful and lack responsibility for their own behavior by blaming their issues on everyone else. Due to budget policies we are overwhelmed with the number of students and behaviors and the lack of staff. I am very passionate about what I do; however, I feel that I am not appreciated handling our two campuses. I have been home sick for several days now and I know the stressors will be there when I return. How do you embrace and come out of the struggle when you are only one person doing the jobs of three people?” MJ
MJ, the key in a situation when there is obviously more than you can physically do is to focus on what you can do, and focus on the most important things that you can do. Dad tells the story of the young boy and his grandfather walking down the beach. A big storm had come in the day before and there were hundreds and hundreds of sand-dollars washed up and starting to die in the sun. As they walked, the grandfather would stop from time to time, reach down, pick up a sand dollar and throw it into the ocean. Finally, the little boy asked, “Grandfather, why are you throwing them back in?” and his grandfather replied, “So that they will live.” The little boy thought for a minute and said, “But grandfather, there are so many of them! What possible difference can it make?” And the grandfather, reaching down and tossing another one back into the ocean, said, “To that one, it will make all of the difference in the world.”
MJ, as an educator in the situation you are in, you are making all of the difference in the world to those you can reach. Those you work with are watching you, and many of them are doing extra because you are doing extra. The opposite also happens: team members give up because they see others on the team give up. Don’t focus on the recognition that others should give you (and they should), but focus on the child that needs your help. Twenty years from now, the child you helped become the responsible adult will seek you out and thank you, and that is recognition that lives on for generations.
I want to close by thanking you personally for what you are doing. You are a difference maker.