Paula Williams: School year’s end brings changes

Jun. 13, 2013 @ 08:13 PM

The end of another school year always brings lots of changes, and some years more than others.
This year, my principal, Max Pope, is retiring with Guilford County Schools after seven years at Pilot and moving to Houston, Texas, to take a job with Terry Grier, our former superintendent now serving in Houston.  My sister, Pam Cranford, is also getting a new principal at Hayworth Christian School.  There are colleagues at Pilot both retiring and moving to other positions and locations, so the new school year that begins in August is sure to be different.
You have no doubt heard it said that the only change in life you can be sure about is that things are going to change.  How change affects us personally is up to us.  The key is welcoming change as a great adventure.
Teaching, in fact, is all about affecting change in the lives of students.  As educators, we sometimes forget that we possess tremendous power to make students either miserable on a daily basis or joyous and enthusiastic learners, and the consequences are enormous.  Margaret Mead said, “A small group of thoughtful, committed people could change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  That’s the ultimate task of each teacher:  changing the world one student at a time.
So as teachers all across our area take a break from school (with no pay, let me remind you as you wish you, too, had summers off), relax, rest, refresh, and recharge your batteries for the job and the change that will come with new administrators, new colleagues, and new students in the fall.  Maya Angelou says this:  “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
That’s the beauty of summer break. It’s a wonderful time for an attitude adjustment. And as you consider what the coming school year will hold, take the advice of my dear friend and former teacher, Amber Idol:  Write your plans in pencil and give the eraser to God. What a great philosophy for us all to embrace!

Paula Gulledge Williams lives in High Point and teaches at Pilot Elementary School in Greensboro. Her columns appear on this page every other Friday. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.