Sometimes You Just Need a Hug . . .


Canter-c120x148Formerly a teacher, now an administrator-in-training, Chris Canter blogs about his yearlong assistant principal internship at Fulton County Public Schools in Atlanta, Ga.

**Warning for readers: I just felt the need for a pick me-up! This won’t be earth-shattering, but perhaps it will encourage you.**

Last Wednesday was such a bad day! It actually began on Monday, when my car blew up on the way home from school. It had been in the shop for nearly four days (for the second time since January), and I had had it out for less than 24 hours. Then, boom! Radiator fluid was everywhere and the car sputtered all the way down I-75 toward my apartment.

Then came Wednesday. Not only was a major report on my agenda (which, by the way, was not pulling from our database correctly), but the day seemed to be one of those where the e-mails kept filling my inbox and the work piled up. Finally, about 1:30 p.m., as I was trying to finish the report, the auto shop called to say it would cost more than $1,000 to fix my car. Exasperated and stressed, I called my mother at work. Before I could finish whining with my “poor me” story, she simply stated, “You know what you need? A hug!” She suggested before the kids leave that I walk the hallways and see all the kids off with a smile at dismissal. “It will do you a world of good,” she said.

I was skeptical, but gave it a try.

At my current elementary school placement, I’ve noticed hugs are very much part of the culture. We have awesome kids, many with whom I have already formed very positive, appropriate relationships in my short time here. As I was standing in the hallways, one of my kindergartners came up and gave me the biggest hug I think a student has ever given me. I squatted down and hugged her back and said, “Thank you so much, sweetheart! I needed that! Have a great weekend!” Tears almost instantly came to my eyes!

It’s so easy in all of the business we conduct all day long to forget why we are in our profession. It’s not for the reports or e-mails, and it’s certainly not for the stress. It’s knowing that we are making a difference for even just one child! My mom was right: the hug did me a world of good!