I began this education journey just eight years ago. I started with a simple goal to be someone I did not have when I was in school. I had one black male teacher from kindergarten through twelfth grade. It was not common for me to see black men as teachers. Now, looking back, I am proud of my eight years as an educator. I am currently in my third year as a principal. Never would have imagined when I started this journey that it would have taken me to a principalship this early. I made it to the top because someone was kind enough to show me the path. There were those before me that sent the elevator down. It is now my turn to send it back. Send the elevator back down so someone else can reach the height that I have been fortunate to reach.
Have you ever been in the drive-thru line early in the morning at Starbucks just wanting to get your coffee, refresher, or your go-to pick me up drink, so you can get your day started? We all know the lines at Starbucks can be long especially in the morning. So, after placing your order and finally getting to the window they hand you your drink and say, “Don’t worry about paying the person in front of you took care of your order.” It’s a kind gesture and something they did not have to do, but then you are left with a decision of your own. Do you take your free order and move on or do you pay it forward? Do you do the same for the next person? For me, the decision is easy; I pay it forward. Now, in year three of being a principal, I have hit my groove and stride. My next goal is to continue to grow as a principal, but also see if I can inspire the next generation and send the elevator back down for the future upcoming educator to take this ride.
I want better for the profession. If I take a moment, and l think at a broader level about the education profession, then I know that I want something better. I want something better for the children and the families. I want successful schools, with dynamic leaders, and children who excel academically. Therefore, since someone was kind enough to send me the elevator while I was on my journey, it is now my turn to send it down for someone else to get the opportunity that I was afforded. If not for anything than to merely do better for my profession.
Above all, the biggest reason why I am encouraged to send the elevator back down is that keeps the flame of hope burning in the profession. This flame will light a path to a greater future for our children and our society. Too often we read about how people in our society, have lost trust and have no hope for the future. They do not believe there are people out there that will support their dreams. They do not believe people are trying to help them do better. If we continue to send the elevator back down to help others, we create a ripple effect of kindness that ultimately instills hope for a better and brighter future all of our schools.