Thankful for Saying NO
By: Scott Corbett, Principal
Thanksgiving was originally celebrated as a way of giving gratitude for the fall harvest and while the meaning has changed for many, it’s by far my favorite holiday. Each year while prepping for Thanksgiving I reflect on what I’m thankful for and of course my neurons automatically fire with thoughts of family, friends, shelter, food, and ultimately life itself.
This year I am thankful for my Mom saying NO! And yes, parents should say NO! The year was 1990 and Nike just released these fresh kicks, AirMax 90’s that I had to have. I begged my Mom a few times and I always got the same response due to the cost. I refused to take no as a final answer and decided I would show her. I went out and landed a job at a local fast food establishment. After 2 weeks of smelling like burgers, fries, and shakes I got my first official pay check, talk about a disappointment. After state and federal taxes were deducted from my golden arch paycheck did not cover the cost of the sneakers. It was at that exact moment that I knew I had to take my education/training seriously.
That want, that disappointment, and my Mom saying no, lead me to become the person I am today. I am thankful for my successes, my failures, my mistakes, my hard work, my experiences, and most of all, I’m thankful to able to have a positive influence on my community. The word “no” today means I need to figure it out, try a different approach, work harder, think outside the box, collaborate, communicate or ask for help.
As a leader, principal, and parent I also refuse to accept the words “I can’t”. I can’t, is just another way of saying NO! The only time my staff says no is when they say, “I KNOW we can do it” I am blessed to work with selfless and compassionate professionals that are always striving to improve the lives of our students and their families. In the last year, I have seen kids that refused to attend school, refusing to leave us on Fridays. Kids that were not eating, eat. Kids that did not fit in socially, having positive peer relationships. Kids that were depressed, now smiling, and non readers reading. Every day I am thankful to come to a place that it’s more than a job; it’s a family unit that works as one and collaborates with all community stakeholders for the success and happiness of others. Thank you Mom for saying NO!
PS While I’m not a sneaker head, I still love a fresh pair of new kicks, especially when I get them on sale!