Message from the Superintendent

January 13, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

A colleague concerned about a group of students who were falling short in school and not performing very well, was discussing the challenges of the situation with me.  She was trying to help the students care about themselves, their future, and their schooling, but her interventions were leading her to feel frustrated.   She felt as though she was working harder than they were, on their own behalf.  I shared what I could to help; and although she spoke of students of today, she could just as well  have been talking about some of us, lost boys and girls, years ago.  This month’s message is for our contemporaries; and how important it is to not give up on the lost boys and girls we serve... 

We do not have competent family support and have not learned about or unlocked the potential of internal motivation.  We may or may not be popular; be careful not to associate our social standing with our internal standing.  We are aware of all that is going on around us, but only a few things matter.  We express ourselves through our behaviors sometimes positive and sometimes not.  Questions about personal identity and our own value haunt us; questions we have as a result of life experiences and the actions of others that influenced us.  We feel awkward in most social situations as they only reinforce the uncertainty we already have about ourselves.

We search for meaning, often participating in relationships without the sensitivity, insight, or skill to be successful.  Our search is difficult; we need those who understand the questions to help us find answers.  We rarely consider long-term consequences of decisions we make so casually.

We hang together seeking comfort in numbers.  Yet, we feel alone regardless.  We get through to get by.  We follow those who appear to have direction and reasons to believe.  At times, we follow the wrong influences or form unhealthy alliances.  We know our shortcomings; it does not help that others see them too.  It is easier to not perform in school, than it is to perform and do poorly or be criticized for not measuring up to someone else’s expectations.

Having walked the plank somewhere in our past, we understand – the “crocodile’s jaws” – but it is hard to talk about abuse or neglect.  We will not be rescued by our family; they are often victims or offenders in their own lives – how can they help in ours?  We resist if you try to help; it is our last defense and an expression of the fear and inadequacies we are too embarrassed to reveal.  Please don’t give up on us.  With the skills you have we can be victorious, but we don’t know that yet.   

To show concern for the subject matter, we first need to feel we are the subject of your concern and that we matter.  Once that is in place, we will then perform for those who care about us.  Lecturing us about rules misses our heart by a mile because others, who should have been concerned about us, violated our safety instead and broke more serious rules.  So accepting us as we are, as we feel at times broken, is the start of our mending. 

We are the lost boys and girls.  Do you see us?  We see you.  Believe in us; be present and persistent when we resist or withdraw.   When you honor and value us, it helps us see our value through your eyes and develop a reason to try again.  Be our champions of hope.  Your love and talents are the magic dust which will help us discover the real treasures within, how to live effectively, and how to use the power of choice to create a better life; and ultimately, to be able to effectively find our way out of “Neverland."

Sincerely,

Nick

 

Last Modified on January 13, 2015