larsonw at ohio.edu
Sun Sep 16 14:58:41 EDT 2018
Thanks for yesterday. Your participation in the seminar were greatly appreciated. As I stated during your departure for the day, I find it to be an honor to have the opportunity to interact with you.
Someone asked me, during the session, if I provide advice to graduates of the program. Well, I have in the past. However, I am becoming more and more reluctant to engage in such an endeavor. I find that my advice is only taken it is compatible with the perspective of the requester. As the famous author John Steinbeck once stated "No one wants advice: Only corroboration."
I hope that you will ponder and learn from our discussion that that use of the notion of being "firm, fair, and consistent" is often challenging. As we discussed, being consistent and being fair concurrently can be difficult to obtain.
That phenomenon relates well to the question that I asked Melissa Colyer, to which she responded in an insightful manner with an excellent example, regarding the difference between addressing the needs of "the students" and addressing the needs of "a student." They sadly are not always the same. Weighing the benefits of which approach to follow can keep an administrator awake all night, I know that they have for me.
A principal once told me, as a relatively young superintendent, that he made all of his decisions based upon board policy and the student code of the school. I then asked him the manner that he interpreted the policy and code to meet the needs of "a student" or the "students." He told me that an interpretation was not needed, as he simply followed the policy and code. With sadness and resolution, the principal was non-renewed, due his reaction, coupled with a few other even more egregious actions.
BTW, I think/hope/pray that I have mellowed in the interim. I now try to address such troublesome issues with finesse and genuine care. While, I am typically candid with my reactions, I try diligently to exhibit authentic care about the individuals to whom my displeasure is being exhibited. After all, they are "their maker's children." For that matter, nearly all, if not all, of the major philosophies/religions decree that we should forgive our enemies.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. If you have questions or suggestions, please share them with me.
Until then, Bill
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