Monday, August 22, 2016

What We Can Learn from the Olympics

Summer is Coming to an End: With the New York State Fair only days away (and I controlled myself and only bought eight pre-sale tickets) it is the time of the year when parents of older children are getting ready to take their children to college and parents of our youngest children are getting ready to put them on the school bus for the first time. Having experienced both, I can tell you that the emotions are similar. If you are in either category, just remember that one of the main themes of being a parent is to prepare them to experience life on their own. Another thing to remember is that our children handle these changes better than we do!

Learning from Olympic Athletes: For the past sixteen days many of us watched the Olympics. During each Olympic season there are many things to take away. For starters, the perseverance, drive, athleticism, sportsmanship (or lack thereof), and the human element of winning and losing are conversation starters for sure. I always watch how top athletes behave with their peers when they win and lose because it helps me to have conversations with our student athletes, as well as students who are in our performing groups and competitive clubs.

This year we had the added bonus of watching a high-level athlete get into some trouble and then lie about it. We also watched three of his teammates, who were involved in the same behavior, tell the truth. I will give you five seconds to try and remember the names of the other three athletes. Most of you will not be able to do so, not because they are lesser named athletes, but because they told the truth they quickly spun out of the media cycle. Meanwhile, the fourth athlete took airtime from his fellow competitors in other sports, embarrassed himself and his family, and left a bad taste in the mouth for many in how he represented the United States. Apologies for his behavior and subsequent lies took the "boys will be boys" approach. The athlete in question is 32.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I value family time and especially any amount of time at the dinner table as a family. A great conversation starter is to discuss this situation and talk with your children about how they would have handled themselves and the benefits of telling the truth over a lie. While the athletes who told the truth still faced a consequence, it was FAR less than the individual who tried to lie his way out of it. Food for thought (no pun intended) for kids of any age.

I am excited for new teacher orientation this week and for most of our capital project to finish.  Enjoy the week, and maybe I will see you at the Fair!