The power of reflection

I believe that one of the most powerful traits any person can possess is the ability to reflect. Reflection allows someone to not only to hit pause for a moment on the insanity of life, but also gives opportunity to ponder about the successes and failures of the past in an attempt to better navigate the future.

Today (May 31) is the last day of school in my district. However, my 21st year of teaching (20 in North Kansas City Schools) is wrapping up in a hotel room in the outskirts of St. Louis accompanying our Staley High School baseball team in their quest to win a state championship beginning tonight.

While Scott Ray Anderson will say that I never am in school to teach anymore, I’m using this morning while at the hotel to reflect and learn from the ups and downs of, not only this school year, but of my time at Staley and of life overall.

I am extremely fortunate to have people in my life that allow me to pursue my many passions. I learned from author Emilie Wapnick that despite society saying that people should specialize, there’s actually a group of people called “multipotentialites” that believe there’s no problem with having a lot of interests and creative pursuits. Among mine include being an educator, referee, announcer, coach, traveler, blogger, voice over artist, single father, dog owner, home owner, a 1980s fan, and a three-time HQ Trivia winner.

So, I thank my son, Murphy, who motivates me to be a better man and encourages me to be all those things above when I see that he continually pushes himself to continuously improve. He is a tremendous young man with the whole world in front of him. And he’s going to be a SENIOR next fall—unbelievable.

I thank my superiors and colleagues in the North Kansas City Schools who give me the chance to allow me to contribute to society in many different ways mentioned above. I know that my absences can cause stress on parts of the mechanism of a school and school district, but I’m thankful that I have understanding coworkers (except for Scott, that is 😂) that help me out.

I apologize to my retiring and non-returning colleagues at Staley (and throughout the district, for that matter) that I’m not there to wish you farewell personally and to celebrate your next steps in life. Based on my experiences, you may be facing some uncertainty about your futures and you can’t fully predict what’s about to happen, but I know that you do have the confidence in yourselves to be prepared for it. I have most definitely learned that lesson, and I’m very thankful to all of you for what you have taught me in and out of the classroom.

I also want to thank everyone in all aspects of the volleyball world that continually make me a better person. Even though I only get to see you for a few days at a time at various tournaments and events here and there, I may not get to say it personally, but you all are valuable to me. I can’t imagine what type of human being I would be without having the opportunities that volleyball has given me, but I can definitely say that I would be much worse off.

Especially in the five years I’ve been at Staley, my life has completely changed. I would have never predicted the adventures I’ve been fortunate enough to experience in that time. There have also been very dark times in addition to the incredible triumphs. So, I encourage you to take some time away from the noise of life to reflect—and maybe even put your thoughts into writing, as I have. You might be surprised what comes out of the time you spend with yourself. The best part, though, is that even though I feel great about where I’m at in life, I truly believe my best days are still ahead! Have a great summer! #Only68DaysUntilWeReportBackToWork

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