Every Head has a Super Hero

Post date: 11-Oct-2013 01:22:52

Each morning, as I greet students at the door of our school, there is one boy who wears his Spiderman backpack with a special air of pride. I know very well how he feels. Every educator has a secret super hero. I have three myself; a little boy and two women, three characters deeply connected to who I am and to what I believe.

There is Mary Poppins, the super teacher, the magical woman who transforms simple life experiences in extraordinary adventures, Vianne Rocher, the “chocolaterie” owner of the movie Chocolate, the woman who believes that people can change and be happy and who gives people faith in themselves, and the Little Prince, the delicate and strong little prince who shows us the path to true love. The three of them, in their different ways, are brave, free spirited, independent, and true to their beliefs; their passion and drive challenge and unsettle their communities. They bring us half way between tale and reality, between sweet and sour, between childhood and adulthood.

With a wonderful quote from the Petit Prince, my super heroes lead us to the fundamental of life, of schools and education: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.” Isn’t it magnificent! How can one cheat, lie, steal, hurt others with such a motto? I have the picture of the Petit Prince in my office; every day I look at it and think about the gratifying intensity and depth of a service leadership. Thenceforth I feel deeply connected to my function and responsibilities and grateful to be able to live and experience passion for my work.

Educators must be idealist and dreamers; a grown-up with a little bit of a childhood inside the heart. As head of school, I must also be a professional and an executive; manage a multi-million budget, give reports supported by data and lead strategic planning teams. But what I enjoy most is telling the stories of my school, to illustrate the invisible magic by teachers in the classrooms: the transformation that take place in the spirits, minds and souls of students. We may not really see it all with our own eyes, but nevertheless the transformation is there, forever and ever. It will accompany students throughout their school years and will continue to enrich and transform their personality for the rest of their life.

In the stories of the Little Prince, Mary Poppins and Vianne Rocher, a time for separation always comes; the north wind blows and takes the hero to a new destination.

Educators rarely get to see the fruition of seeds they plant in their students’ lives. They may never know how well their students succeed, or how talented they will become. However the planted seeds grow and multiply quietly, and with care and confidence do come back, someday, unexpectedly as a rewarding and joyful sign of life and love.