Take a couple minutes to watch the video above. Jamarion Styles is a kid that I want on my team and you probably do to. Even though at first glance he may not appear to have it all, I think that he does. He has the right attitude, he has the right approach to life, and he has that can do attitude that will drive him to success.
Jamarion's story is way more powerful than his arms. His is a story of what all kids want. To belong; to be "normal" (whatever that means); to be a part of something bigger than himself. I see this in all of our kids and I am sure that you do to. My question for you is: Does your attitude about their situation allow them to feel as if they have a chance?
That is the key.
Here is a young man that was told to go home when he tried to play basketball like the other kids. Here is a young man that was told to go play soccer because people thought that was best for him. Here is a young man that was not given the chance he looked for... until Coach Williams said, "How can I say no to that?"
In public education we work with everyone from all walks of life. It's just what we do. There are times when a student like Jamarion comes along with an obvious obstacle to overcome. As educators we have a decision to make... are we going to decide what that student can and cannot do or are we going to say, "How can I say not to that?"
This story reminds me of one of my long time mentors, colleagues, and friend, Randy Matthews. Randy was my head athletic trainer at Angelo State University. Randy taught us that we are not the ones to determine what someone can and cannot do. We are the ones that are supposed to remove as many obstacles as possible, help them along the way, and get out of their way when they start to fly. I believe that to this day.
Yes, we may see the road ahead and it may be really rocky, but why did we become educators? Are we here to determine someone's future or to help them achieve their future? My answer is to help them achieve their future, what's yours?
Think. Achieve. Succeed.
P.S. Share this video with your students and ask them... "What's Stopping You?"
7th & 8th Grade
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
Images & Quotes that Inspire