Everyone has a story. Some are longer with more heartache than others. At the end of the day we're all humans. With feelings, personalities, empathy and we must have positive intentions with others.
In thinking about Ronald, I of course think about the kids and parents at my school. I don't believe any of my families are homeless, but they all do have a story. Their story is nothing like Ronald's, but as leaders of a school we must remember to assume positive intentions with people, and to build relationships.
How many of your students walk by you each morning and just ten minutes before they arrived at school it was chaos at their house? Or the night before? Or for the past two weeks?
Parents yelling, parents divorced, they didn't sleep well, they're stressed from pressure they feel at home or at school, parents are traveling for work and they miss their family, fighting with siblings, they don't feel connected to school, they're having trouble with friends at school, they don't have any friends, school is too hard for them, school is too easy for them, kids at school are mean to them, their teacher isn't very nice, they didn't eat breakfast, they didn't eat dinner last night or breakfast this morning, a sibling has special needs and it's hard for them to cope, they don't look like everyone else at school and feel left out at times, they don't feel anyone cares about them.
Leaders must - be nice, give high fives, listen, connect with kids, be visible, sit on the floor with students, talk with kids, connect with parents, create opportunities for student voice, amplify student voice, care about kids a lot, show kids how much they care, eat lunch with kids and talk with them, try to make all kids famous, boost student confidence, focus on kids and not spreadsheets or data, be awesome all of the time and remember why they go into education in the first place!
You never know. We never know. Remember to listen, be positive and treat everyone how you would want to be treated! Go the extra mile, run the extra mile, it's worth all the training, kids will benefit and that's what matters!