Today I want to honor the complexity of our students.
Too often, I think, we tend to see a few data points (he’s a starting tackle on Varsity Football, she dyes her hair bright pink, he loves to sing and dance, she wears sleeveless shirts to school) and fill in the rest.
The truth is, we’re all far more complicated than that. We can fit in many categories, wear many hats, love many things.
I especially honor my current and former students who work hard to be involved in athletics, the arts, church, Boy Scouts, and so many other extracurriculars.
It is always my goal to respect their many passions and empower them to participate fully in all of them.
It is not always easy, and I have watched them miss performances for athletic practices, watched them feel like they’re always letting someone down, even observed them (very occasionally) have cruel epithets hurled at students by troglodytic coaches.
We must strive to honor our students as complex individuals who have rich inner and outer lives beyond the time we spend with them.
Students: no matter what anyone says, you are empowered to do as much as you love and can handle. If someone says you can’t, ask yourself what their motivation is for stopping you from doing something you love.