I heard another neat country song the other day that I really liked and once again, it got me thinking about our students. The song is by Eric Church and it is titled "Three Year Old". A couple of the lines in the song go like this: "A fishing pole sinks faster than a tackle box. Nothing turns a day around like licking a mixing bowl. I learned that from a three year old." The song is about Eric Church's three year old son and all the things he has learned from him that are so relevant to life in general. If you get the chance, I hope you will give it a listen. I think you will really enjoy it even if you aren't a big country fan.
Like I said earlier, this got me thinking about the students around here and all the things I have learned from talking with them and observing them. I learned that they love when you say happy birthday to them on that special day. I learned that they really don't mind when Mr. Miller asks them during lunch how their day is going. I learned that the students enjoy telling you what they are working on in their lab and showing off their new skills. I have learned that many of them just want to be kids and laugh and have fun but that's not always how their life is. Many of our students seem like they are shy but love when an adult shows concern about them and their future. I have learned that they have hopes and dreams but sometimes need someone to fuel them. The students like to be rewarded with "good as gold" but it is often those students who feel they don't deserve it, that they were "just doing what was right". I have learned that our students love the Friday lunchtime pictures that Mr. Verhoff, Mrs Hall and Mrs. Wilhem put up on the big screen each week.
I think that the main thing that I have learned from so many of our students is that they are great people. They care about others, they hurt when others hurt and they have concerns just like us adults. All of us at Vantage work hard to prepare our students for the "real world" and to make sure they are going to be successful. We provide them the knowledge and information that can lead them down that path. However, I think the one thing that all of us can provide to each of them, and the one thing that they seem to need, is kindness and caring. As we continue to offer this, I am positive we will reap the rewards of seeing some awesome students go through our school. And as a benefit we will learn a lot of life lessons along the way and they will come from the 16, 17 and 18 year old crowd. I keep a note in my office that states: "Don't let the importance of your work crowd out your concern for human need". I need to be reminded of that every once in awhile and it's nice to know that I might even be reminded by a three year old.