My last blog talked about me joining the 5th grade band. Several weeks ago I arrived late for 5th grade band. I was on the phone with the previous superintendent, Mr. Johnson, and lost track of time. As I entered the band room late, all of the students and Mr. VanOort looked at me with a sense of disappointment. I apologized and said that I was late due to talking on the phone to Mr. Johnson (which I thought was a legitimate reason). Mr. VanOort turned and looked at the class after my comment and asked the students, “what do we want in band?” The students replied, “solutions, not excuses!” My first instinct was to try and talk my way out of the situation and explain why I should not be held to this same standard as the students. However, I muscled up the courage and simply said, “it won’t happen again, I’m sorry.” I then walked to my seat and opened my trumpet case and continued on with the class as normal. Ironically, I struggled the entire hour on all of the pieces we played as a group. I’m not sure if it was an off day for me or if showing up late affected my playing. Either way, I made up my mind that I was not going to be late for band again.
As I reflect on the statement from the students about wanting solutions and not excuses I couldn’t help but think about it on a larger scale. This concept fits into many different facets of life. I need to embrace solutions and not excuses as the superintendent of the Oakes Public Schools. We as a school need to live by this example as well. Neither the school nor yours truly are without problems. However, I’m going to strive to seek solutions for the school district in order that we keep moving forward and find ways to continually improve our educational system. I look forward to solutions, and not excuses as I do my best to lead OPS in 2017!
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t you’ll find an excuse.” Jim Rohn