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Lead From the Heart

Yesterday I came across a news story that stopped me in my tracks. It involved my choral director from High School, Tim Haskett. He is retiring this spring and with the use of Flipgrid, help from 3 teaching assistants, and an accompanist, he created a virtual choir with his high school students. They sang a beautiful song about hope.

While the performance was beautiful, it wasn't what struck me to write this post. Mr. Haskett spoke in the news clip and stated, "I'm lucky. I found a job that I love and for 37 years going to work every single day has been a blessing to me. It really has." That's what struck me yesterday and it's what struck me when I was in his choral classroom. He truly loves what he does and cares for his students. His passion for his craft and for people is what inspired me to continue on in music. And in our current situation, that passion and connection is needed more than ever. Tim knew that and provided a wonderful experience for his students.

Here's the thing. You don't have to do what Tim Haskett did with his choir. I know this because a co-worker, Deb Klarfeld, shares her passion and love for her students in Google Classroom and in Zoom meetings with her second graders. She calls me often and asks me to join her in a creative project or to help her think through an experience she wants for her students. Her passion and love for children is inspiring.

And yet another co-worker, Mary Carney, inspires in other ways. She finds books on audible for her students or delivers books to their doorstep so everyone has a "just right" book ready to read. She creates a video read aloud for her class and begins each video with "grab your snack and meet me in the living room for our read aloud" because she knows the familiarity of a classroom routine is comforting to her students. She loves her students and her work. It is evident in everything she does.

So, when I struggle with am I good enough, am I doing enough, and am I making a difference, I think of Tim, Deb and Mary and lead with the heart. I learned from them to do what I love, share my passion with others, and care for my students and their needs. If I do that, I have accomplished something great as Tim, Deb, and Mary have.

Thanks to the many, many retirees that are ending their careers during this pandemic. While we can't be with you in person to share and celebrate with you, please know you have made a difference and have left us many memories and gifts to remember for a lifetime. I wish you many blessings with your new adventures!

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