Dear Zaharis Families,
This past week has been a week of reflection—a renewed season of mourning and heartache. While the newspaper headlines and documentaries have been saturated with messages of gloom and despair, it is impossible to not notice some of the wonderful events that have occurred because of Americans who decided that they don't have to become a victim of circumstance; Americans who believe that it is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little.
Many heroes emerged from the events of 9/11. Certainly the first responders and those serving in the military come to mind. Where would we be without them? But heroes come in many forms. A true hero is one who reaches inside oneself to reach a little higher, to stand a little taller, to stretch a little lower to grasp the hand of those who need rescued. The world has many heroes. From all our heroes, we learn that there is strength to be found within—and much greater strength when we unite our efforts to become heroes as one.
Teachers are numbered among my heroes. Especially the ones who call Zaharis Elementary School home. I’m sure countless aching hearts across the country found comfort from a caring, nurturing teacher on that dreadful day. I am inspired when I see first hand how they awaken the hearts of your children each day. Their generosity of spirit compels me to want to do more within my own sphere of influence. We are so lucky that each one of our Zaharis teachers decided their call in this world would be to touch the lives of our precious children. May you enjoy this piece written by John Schlatter, who understands the essence of the noble call of teacher:
I am a Teacher
I am a teacher.
I was born the first moment that a question leaped from the mouth of a child.
I have been many people in many places.
I have wept for joy at the weddings of former students, laughed with glee at the birth of their children and stood with head bowed in grief and confusion by graves dug too soon for bodies far too young.
Throughout the course of a day I have been called upon to be an actor, friend, nurse and doctor, coach, finder of lost articles, money lender, taxi driver, psychologist, substitute parent, salesman, politician and a keeper of the faith.
I am the most fortunate of all who labor.
A doctor is allowed to usher life into the world in one magic moment. I am allowed to see that life is reborn each day with new questions, ideas and friendships.
An architect knows that if he builds with care, his structure may stand for centuries. A teacher knows that if he builds with love and truth, what he builds will last forever.
I am a warrior, daily doing battle against peer pressure, negativity, fear, conformity, prejudice, ignorance and apathy. But I have great allies: Intelligence, Curiosity, Individuality, Creativity, Faith, Love and Laughter all rush to my banner with indomitable support.
And so I have a past that is rich in memories. I have a present that is challenging, adventurous and fun because I am allowed to spend my days with the future. I am a teacher….and I thank God for it every day.
May we always appreciate the heroes that make our world a better place.