The winter storm caused heavy snow that fell by the inches, and the roads were getting treacherous. Most people were hunkered down at home for the night, maybe under a cozy blanket, staying safe and snug. Many students and school staff were performing rituals in hopes of a snow day—PJs on backwards, flushing ice cubes down toilets, or even placing white crayons carefully in freezers.
There are a few who jumped into their vehicles to brave the snowy roads to determine whether they were safe for busses. Usually that happens in the morning, but with this storm it happened in the evening in preparation for the next day. In my district, the superintendent and transportation director work together with other area superintendents to decide whether school is on or off.
Last night, after that collaboration, my superintendent called our community relations manager to let her know the decision. Rather than telling her the determination, he asked her to ask her 8-year-old son if he thought there should be a snow day the next day. She asked her son and with just a little hesitation as he thought it over, he answered with a confident yes.
Later that night, the community relations manager overheard her 8-year-old proudly telling his brother that he couldn’t wait to tell his friends at school that he was the one to call the snow day.
A simple little question, a moment of generosity and thoughtfulness, made all the difference to a child.
It was 8:00pm and I am sure the superintendent was tired and ready to relax for a few minutes after a long day of work. The decision for the snow day had already been made. Yet, he took a moment to make a little boy’s day…week…or maybe create a memory that this little boy will never forget.
This story reminds me of the importance of slowing down and keeping children at the forefront of all we do, even when we are crunched for time, even when we are tired. Superintendents are very important people, yet this superintendent behaves as if the children are the important people. I am guessing that he hardly remembers that question from last night because empowering students and making sure they are the center of his attention is just a part of who he is.
What will you do today to make sure that students know they are the most important thing to you?