The School Bell
To Which Crew Do You Belong?
Last week I heard a poem for the first time which inspired me to reflect with appreciation on the work being done by teachers and staff in our schools throughout the district. The poem written by Tony Illingworth, is entitled, “Wrecking Crew”:
I watched them tear a building down,
A gang of men in Sydney Town.
With a push and a shove,
And a mighty yell!
They swung a beam
And the side wall fell.
I asked the Boss if his men were skilled?
Were they men to hire, if he had to build?
He gave a smile, said "No indeed!"
Just casual Labourers are all I need!"
"They can easily wreck in a day or two,
What Builders would take a year to do!"
And I thought to myself as I walked away,
That's not the role I like to play,
I'm glad I'm a tradesman who works with care,
Measuring Life with a ruler and square,
I shape my deeds to a well made plan,
And patiently do the best that I can.
The Tomah Area School District employs a wide range of “builders”: bus drivers who are the first to greet students in the morning and the last to say goodbye; food service personnel who prepare nutritional food; aides who monitor student behavior on the playground or help provide additional academic support; building secretaries who may tend to a bruised knee, line up missing work due to an absence, or provide some sage advice on how to best address a problem; custodians who ensure the classrooms and school are safe and clean; and of course, our building principals, teachers, and specialists (counselors, speech language pathologists, school psychologists, etc...) who provide daily instruction, support, and encouragement to our students. These builders carefully plan lessons. They work with care to address the emotional, social, and academic needs of students. As builders, they are patient and know that the work in which they are engaged may take years before the true results are seen. They do the best they can each day and shape the future with their words and actions designed to build children into intelligent, responsible, respectful, and caring adults.
There is no question it is easier to be a member of the “wrecking crew”. Destroying self-confidence, dismantling the sense of pride one may have in an accomplishment, demolishing another’s self-esteem... this type of destruction is also done with our words and actions. The wrecking crew can undercut the efforts of the building crew in short time. So, the question for each of us is: To which crew do we want to belong? Are we builders of the children in our community or are we part of the wrecking crew? Much work has been accomplished this school year, but there is always more to do. This summer, as a community, let’s continue to be the builders, the architects, and the craftsmen of our children so that their foundation is solid and strong and their future promising and bright.
If you have any questions or comments about the information and opinions expressed in this edition of The School Bell, please contact Cindy Zahrte, District Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 374-7002.