Greg Schwab Column Issue 2

By Principal Schwab

You know, I have to be the first to admit that speakers who travel to schools and do all school assemblies can sometimes miss the mark with their motivational messages. Dream big, reach for the stars, believe and achieve. All really good messages but somehow they don’t seem to inspire the way that the speakers intend. I’m sure their messages are very well-intended and these folks are obviously really good at what they do given that they travel around the country speaking to schools, but when it comes to inspiration, I’ve been left wanting more.

That’s what made this last assembly such an amazing experience. First, Stu Cabe was a great speaker. He was funny, engaging and connected to us all in a pretty cool way. Not unlike other speakers we have had, but what set him apart was the simplicity of his message. Be nice. That was it. True, there were stories about big elephants and little elephants, but in the end his message was simple and to the point—be nice.

How hard can that be? Not very when you think about it for a minute. And for me, that is one of the things that I think sets our school apart from others. We are nice to each other. When people learn what I do for my job, the next question I get asked is often the same—how are the kids at your school? And my answer is the same—our students are some of the nicest students I have every worked with. I’ve been in several schools in my 23 years as a teacher and administrator, and by far, our school shines when it comes to how nice we are to each other.

We do have our fair share of students who need to be reminded of the message we heard the in the assembly—and we had to deal with someone who felt it was funny to shine a laser into the eyes of a guest in our school. But even in that moment, when Stu called out the person who had done this, I was proud of our response as a school.

It was pretty clear to the person who did it that it was not cool and we showed in that moment who we really are as a school community.

There is more work to do.

We deal with students daily who need to be reminded of the simple message.

Be nice.

Imagine what our school would be like if everyone in our school did this one thing. It’s worth trying and the worst thing that can happen is that we have school community where everyone treats each other with kindness.

I can live with that.