There is a story that shortly after John F. Kennedy gave his “man on the moon” speech, he was touring Cape Canaveral. During the tour he came across a custodian working in one of the corridors. When he asked the custodian what he was doing he quickly replied, “Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon.” Whether this exchange actually happened or not, the message it drives home is very real. When people have a shared vision and feel a part of something greater than themselves there is no limit to what they can do. Including putting a man on the moon using 1960’s technology!
What a beautiful reality it would be to have every person in an organization feeling that everything they do is contributing to a greater cause. A cause that requires each person doing his or her job to the best of their ability to make it happen. When I think of this scenario, my mind instantly goes to the school setting. What if every teacher, custodian, secretary, volunteer and administrator gave the same answer when asked what they were doing, “I’m making the world a better place, one student at a time.”
We don’t have to be the president or a world leader to have a vision and get people to commit to it. As educators, each one of us can set high standards for our students, provide the support they need, and make them believe that great things can happen when we do our best and work together. President Kennedy didn’t get a chance to see his vision realized and as educators, we may not always get to witness the fruits of our labors. But if history shows us anything, it’s that human beings will rise to a challenge and can accomplish anything if they are empowered. Share your vision with your students and staff and empower them to make the impossible come true!
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – Neil Armstrong
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking