Greetings from Mr. Gerst


As the leader of a grand institution, I can’t help asking the question, “How are we doing?’ For me, one of the most difficult things about education is not the long hours, the endless work or the preparation, but the enormous amount of human relations we do day-to-day. Let’s face it, we’re in the “people business,” and forging relationships is the glue that holds us together. In an average day we have hundreds of contacts. We act, react, and interact regularly with a variety of players. It can be exhausting, but also exhilarating.


Perhaps the most precarious feature is that we can never be certain what our actions may yield in the long run. Certainly, the overt things we do create immediate responses. For example, making a change in schedules or policy. You don’t have to listen long to hear that kind of “buzz.” But the subtle things are more difficult to discern, and what makes our jobs so tough at times. Relationships can be so fragile. From my side, I think about the idea that I may never realize the result of counsel to a colleague, parent, teacher or the long range effect of my words on a student in need of assurance. I don’t really know if saying “hello” and calling someone by name makes anyone’s day or if not doing so hurts someone’s feelings in way that will be remembered. When I stoop to pick up a backpack in the hallway, ask someone about their day, or open the door for the person behind me, does it really matter?


Well, I think it all matters. Everything I do matters. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Everything we do or don’t do shares impact somewhere on someone or something. I read once that a butterfly’s wings can alter the weather miles and miles away. This seemingly diminutive action creates a subtle shift, no more, no less than a smile.


I think if I could have two rules in life, two principles to guide me each and every day, they would be as follows: Everyone counts, and Everything counts. Maybe it is that easy. If we live our lives and educate our children to understand that everything has an effect…sometimes grand and sometime small… it just might create a subtle shift and change in the climate of our homes and our schools. It certainly can’t hurt. If one butterfly can affect climate, imagine what impact a community of butterflies could share. The potential is exciting. Thank you for sharing the grand task of educating our children of today. Have a wonderful weekend ahead!