Wednesday, March 25, 2015

13 Years Ago

This week, I became the father of a teenager.  My oldest daughter turned 13 and I found myself wondering where all the time went.  It's hard to capture how dramatically this event changed my life.  I know becoming a parent is a pivotal point in many people's lives, but it had a special significance for me.  As an adopted child, it was the first time I had ever looked into someone's eyes who was "flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone".  For the first time, I could see my own features in someone else...her nose, her smile.  I was unprepared for how emotionally charged the moment was.  It was very surreal and made me feel more connected than I had ever felt before.

The ironic thing about this was that I was VERY close to my adoptive parents.  In fact, I can honestly say that I never longed to meet my biological parents other than perhaps to know my heritage and to say "Thank you" for letting me grow with such an incredible family.  The births of both my daughters just gave me the best of both worlds.  Now I had a family through the love of adoption and a family through the birth of a child.  How lucky I am!

As an educator, I sometimes think we take for granted the blessings we have through our families.  They may be biological, they may be adopted, they may still be living, or they may have passed on, but we all had strong connections of love and a sense of belonging through our family.  I've seen many children through the years who don't have those connections.  Perhaps they have been removed from a home, perhaps they have been in the system from agency to agency and house to house.  Perhaps they are in a family that does not love and support them.  It's our job as educators to make those children feel connected, to feel valued, and to feel loved.  We've all heard the saying, "some taught the curriculum today and some taught children".  A great teacher will do both.  Be the one that makes that disconnected child feel at home while at school.

So this weekend, as I host a party for a dozen 13 year old girls at my house, I will look beyond the sleepless night, the teen music, and the exasperated looks of my daughter when she says I embarrass her and remember the little baby girl I first held 13 years ago that changed my world forever. And as a principal, I will try to make sure that I work daily to help every child feel connected and part of our school family.

13 years in the blink of an eye


"Lost time is never found again." - Benjamin Franklin

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." - John Lennon

"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late." William Shakespeare

The Value of Time (3 minutes)


Friday, March 27: No Students (Teacher Work Day)

Monday, March 30: No Before School Math Club for Grades 3&4
                                Title 1 Team (Meghan, Alena, Denise, and Jon) to CTC training 8:15-11:30

Tuesday, March 31: Jon out of building for Advanc-ED school visit in Detroit
                                 4th Grade visit to Johnson 9:15-11:15 am

Wednesday, April 1: Jon out of building for Advanc-ED school visit in Detroit
                                  Camp Out and Read in the Gym (following scheduled times)
                                  Lunch in the Classrooms
                                 PTA Meeting in the LMC 6:30 pm (I'm hoping to be back for this)

Thursday, April 2: 8:00 Staff Meeting (Technology training with Lindsey)
                               3:00 pm Reading Month Awards Assembly

Friday, April 3: No School / Spring Break Begins!
Monday, April 13: School Resumes


  1. What a precious post! I am the father of an adopted girl, who is now in her teens. She is spirit of my spirit, 100% daughter of mine, who despite her tumultous teens, hopefully knows how cherished she is.
    This is such a wonderful reflection, and a charge for us as educators to treasure each child we work with.