The proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” is a cliche, especially in the world of education. But today, on the first day of school, in my new role as an Innovation and Learning Coach, I saw the village. And there’s nothing like it.
A third grader was asked by the principal to give me a tour of my new school. It didn’t take me long to discover how connected to adults this kid was. While walking the halls we stopped for: a conversation with the counselor, a wave from his first grade teacher (who we decided to not interrupt from teaching since it was, after all, the first day), a heart-to-heart with his speech teacher, a discussion with the head custodian (mostly about how clean the school always was), a visit to last year’s classroom (unfortunately when his teacher was away at recess duty, although that gave me plenty of time to hear how nice she was), too many hellos to count, and an analysis of how many teachers changed rooms and/or moved furniture.
It was obvious how many people were playing a role in this child’s life. Each and every adult had a significant role in his development. It was also clear just how much this little guy needed the school. With the challenges this particular student faces, every one of those adults is necessary. He has a village. He needs the village.
And, in reflection, it’s not just that he needs the village. The village needs him.