Sunday, April 26, 2009
Callouses can be a real pain. They start off as a minor annoyance and can eventually become quite debilitating as they grow bigger and dig deeper into your foot. I recently had a callous that developed into quite a stinker. It stayed with me for over three years. That's right! Three years. I tried medicine halfheartedly and it made a little progress, but it kept coming back strong. I even went to the Dr. and had a little cut off. I was told I could cut the rest off myself. Have you ever tried to surgically remove a portion of your flesh from the bottom of your foot? Thanks Doc! So, I tried filing off dead skin a couple times a week. In the end, I learned to live with the irritant and just hobbled along with my little friend. Finally, I decided to carefully apply the over-the-counter remedy according to the directions for a full cycle. After about 7 days of faithfully applying medicine and changing the bandage, I ripped off the cover one morning, and to my surprise, the entire crusty little callous came right out of my foot - completely!
So, why would I share such disgusting personal details and what does that have to do with school and leadership? Quite a lot actually. Our schools are full of little callouses,that if left untended, can grow into big problems. As a leader, I must constantly be on the alert for those behaviors that hamper our mission of educating all children to the highest level. There are attitudes, behaviors, comments, practices, that may seem harmless and might be hidden from the view of most onlookers, but they will lead to cancerous growths that can eventually cripple our system. Sometimes, the leader may be the only one who notices - a classroom instructional practice that leaves a few kids in the dark, recess protocols that gives students too much freedom, or a disciplinary procedure that leaves students broken and battered with no chance for redemption or improvement. So, here's my plan on callous detection and removal at school.
1. Keep an eye out for callouses of all kinds in every place.
2. Apply a remedy for removal at the first opportunity.
3. Analyze the effectiveness of that remedy, and change it until the callous is gone.
4. Walk (and learn) with one less obstacle in your way.
Happy Callous Hunting!