Planting Shade Trees Under Which We’ll Never Sit

trees-053“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit” – Nelson Henderson

I have to say, teaching middle school is not for everyone! It’s hard!  I mean, really, really hard! Our teachers have to deal with the changes in hormones, emotions, physical characteristics, and even voices of our students.  One day, Johnny is sweet, polite, and respectful, and the next day he’s shaving!

When I tell people that I am an assistant principal at a middle school, they always ask me what I did to deserve that! Did I lose a bet? Upset the superintendent?

Then I tell them I chose this job. And every teacher who works in our school chose their job, too.  And in my opinion, this is one of the most fulfilling jobs I could ever imagine doing.  We are planting shade trees under which we’ll never sit, and it’s worth every second!

Our students are shade trees that are just beginning to grow.  They’ve been fed, watered, and nurtured all the way through elementary school.  Their leaves are beginning to fill out, and the roots have potential for grasping firmly to the soil.  They will make more choices during their middle school years with regards to their future than ever before.  And though we are a crucial part of this growing process, we won’t be the ones who sit under their shade.

But it’s comforting to know that these students we are influencing every day, will grow up to be amazing, kind, brilliant, beautiful adults, who will contribute to our world in ways that will make us proud to be called their teachers.




2 thoughts on “Planting Shade Trees Under Which We’ll Never Sit

  1. Hi Dave,
    Thank you.
    Nelson was my Grandfather. He and his wife raised 8 kids and several surrounding orphan kids on a poor small farm in Northern Manitoba. He passed when I was 12, but his influence has carried for generations. Amazing for a humble man who had little means and a big heart. He used that saying as a reminder that it’s not always about “us”. Always a challenge with kids and adults.
    God Bless,

    • I’m honored and humbled to have you comment on my blog post! I can only imagine what an amazing man your Grandfather was, and what a legacy he left for you and the rest of his family!

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