Skip to main content

Attention Seeker

As an educational leader, there are times throughout the day that I feel like if there were two or three of me, we could actually be getting some things done.  Whether it is responding to emails, attending meetings on and off campus, meeting with teachers or students and doing whatever else comes up throughout the day (I had to remove a dead cockroach from the staff bathroom last Tuesday), it becomes increasingly hard to attend to the task at hand.

Maybe it's just me as I've struggled with attention issues my whole life but I have to think there must be other educators out there who feel the same way.

You are in an ARD meeting, it's 2:00 pm and you know there's a parent phone call you HAVE to make before the bell rings and there's a teacher who needs your support with a student and the last time you checked your email, right before going to the ARD, you noticed Inbox 64, and you just got a call on your radio that there's ANOTHER cockroach in the staff restroom but this time it's on it's back and it's legs are still moving and it is making attempts at flipping over and it seems like it's figuring out the flip or at least it's about to and if you don't get there super fast it's going to run off and create new little cockroach babies and we ARE. ALL. DOOOOOOMMMMEEED!!!!!!!!!!

With all that going on, it's hard to ATTEND to the meeting the way the students and parents deserve for you to.  It's hard to be present.

I find myself thinking about this all the time and I'll tell you why.  My daughter Avery, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of two, was essentially assigned an oncologist.  It's not like we got to pick her doctor out of a menu of doctors at the local Children's Hospital and it's not like we would have been able to even do that at the time - our brains were a bit jumbled.  Anyways, we were very lucky that Dr. Andrew Martin at UT Southwestern was assigned her case and about a year and a half into her treatment, after countless meetings and mulling over different plans, my wife and I commented to each other nonchalantly on the way home from one of those meetings how patient Dr. Martin is with us.  When you are trying to figure out the best path to saving your child's life, there are a lot of questions from the parents, trust me on that one.

He NEVER seemed like he was in a hurry, even though he probably had multiple other families waiting in various rooms to speak with him.  He NEVER grew impatient from my questions.   He always attended to those meetings, 100%.  During that time, we were his number one priority and we needed to be someone's number one priority.

We had to meet with other doctors occasionally, surgeons, fellows, ER doctors, other oncologists while Dr. Martin was out of town, etc.  They weren't all like that.

We noticed it.

We felt it.

We needed to be heard.

We needed somebody to hear us and to attend to us 100%.

How many of our parents notice when we aren't attending to them 100%?  All of them.

Think about how powerful it would be if they knew they were our only concern for that 45 minute meeting?

It's extremely powerful.

They notice it.

They feel it.

They need to be heard.

They need somebody to hear them and attend to them 100%.

Trust me on that one.



Thank you Dr. Martin for never being in a hurry, even though we are sure you were.  We noticed your patience.  We noticed your willingness to hear us out.  Thank you for your 100% attention and thank you for loving our daughter!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Braden Bin - 3/4/16

What I'm Reading - Election Guide:  5 Education Takeaways From the Presidential Candidates 
Juuuuuust in case you are as confused as I am on who to vote for, EdWeek put out a nice election guide for us education minded folks.  When it seems as if the candidates speak about everything other than education, it's nice to know that each has their own version of a "plan".  
What I'm Reading (Bonus) -  So, Google's up to something again and this one I am VERY excited about.  Think of the implications this could have on education.  On igniting that fire in our kids for reading!  I can't wait to try it!  What I'm Watching - Plato's Allegory of the Cave by Alex Gendler

I think this video draws some very interesting parallels to our current political system.  I particularly like the quote, "Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance but hostile to anyone who points it out.""As we go about our lives, can we be confident in what we thi…

Goals

One of my favorite questions to ask students is - "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

It's simple

It's old

You might hear it on Sesame Street.

It's not innovative

But I am always taken aback when they don't have an answer for me.  Sometimes, they literally have NO IDEA.  I understand if it's a K-2 student, but in my opinion, students in 3rd grade and above need to, at least, have some idea.

I wanted to be an NBA player when I was a kid.  In high school, I was a 6'3", slow, had a pretty good jump shot, could never dunk a basketball and, like my best friends to this day remind me, was never a real stud in the weight room.  It didn't take long before I realized the whole NBA thing wasn't going to pan out.  BUT, before I realized that, I had a goal.  I had something to shoot for.  I had a path, and while I didn't always stay on it, I knew where it was and I had people to help me get back on it.

What do you think kids that have n…