Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Miss'ion Statements and 'Miss'ed Opportunities...



Mission statements pique my curiosity. If I understand mission statements correctly their purpose is to bring attention and awareness to a business, company or person’s core values and beliefs. Mission statements are proclamations that guide an institution and all their endeavors.  
That being said, our local middle school touts the following as their mission statement: Where All Students WILL Succeed!

Interesting… I’m wondering how all students can succeed when ALL are not given the opportunity? Is that possible? How is success defined? Does ALL mean each and every student regardless of ability and achievement? Furthermore, do all individuals employed by this establishment truly embrace this declaration? More importantly what are the ramifications if their beliefs don’t align with the announcement?

I pose these questions as a result of the ‘missed opportunity’ the middle school coaches overlooked in selecting a track team. My son tried out but didn’t ‘make’ the team. In fact, sad to report that many students were not chosen. For whatever reason, they were not given the lead-in to mature as runners in order to cultivate a healthier lifestyle; therefore, they will NOT succeed in this arena; contrary to the school’s mission statement.

I’ve specified before that I run the risk of sounding like a resentful parent but I’m not. My son will continue to run for enjoyment and health benefits because as his parent, I will encourage and support him in navigating his course. Rather, I’d prefer to be regarded as a pebble commencing the rippling effect; an individual generating awareness to an epidemic that continues to perpetuate and exist in our world today; childhood obesity.

This state of affairs is so widespread our own First Lady; Michelle Obama has instituted a Let’s Move enterprise to entice our youth to get off the couch. She passionately and vehemently states, “The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake,” said Mrs. Obama. “This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved. So, let’s move.”

It’s unfortunate our middle school coaches weren’t on board with this initiative.  I’m not certain of their rationale as no one has responded to a letter sent to them to gain understanding.

Nevertheless, it brings me full circle to the notion of mission statements; If ALL students are not given the opportunity, how can they ALL succeed?

33 comments:

Wanda's Wings said...

Good point.

Daisy said...

All I can say is your son is very lucky to have you as his parent to support and encourage him to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Too bad not all kids are as lucky, and it's sad when the school system lets them down as your school system has done.

Sylvia K said...

Excellent post and as a former teacher as well as a mother of four (grown now, of course), I couldn't agree with you more. I finally gave up teaching after my children were older because I had become so discouraged by the school system and it has only gotten worse.

Sylvia

Kittie Howard said...

I feel for you. Your son't fortunate you're still encouraging him to exercise.

Jeanie said...

The fact that your letter hasn't been responded to doesn't speak well for the program.....or the school's mission statement. Your son is lucky to have so much support from you.

Madi and Mom said...

It has been years since I had a child in school; however, in the mid 70's Brentwood Elementary partnered with NCSU Physical Ed majors to encourage children to exercise. The college students came to the elementary school 2 times a week to help with PE. They were called PEPPY Students.
I don't recall all of what PEPPY meant but the Elementary kids loved it. At the end of the school year they had Olympics Games which included EVERY Student.
Hugs C

Mike said...

Today's societal mission statements, phrases and quotes are, in fact, a dime a dozen and not worth the paper they're written on. I think it's safe to say only a handful of governmental businesses actually believe in what they have written. It's all a facade. I don't trust, nor do I believe, anything the government writes or says. But, that's just me. ;)

Karen Mortensen said...

Love your thoughts. It seems that schools want all students to succeed but they want them all to succeed to a certain level. Mostly the highest. Everybody can't do that. Each one needs to succeed at their own level. If I can only read 12 words a minute and by the end of the year in can read 30, is that not success?

Ginny said...

In children of this age, I think that talent and skill hardly matter. The purpose is to teach them about sportsmanship, working as a team, and also ones who don't seem so good at it can be much improved with just a little coaching, bringing their talent out. the poor kids who wanted to be chosen....some of these could be the "loners", who will not learn about team building or sportsmanship! This is a sad state of affairs.

Old Kitty said...

It's a shame you've not had any response to your letter - I hope you do though eventually! As a school they should take into consideration all concerns of each parent - or at least the First Lady's practical initiative! Childhood obesity is a growing disease and yet it's something that is so easy curable.

You make a fabulous point about your school's mission statement!

Take care
x

Sarah (Nikki) said...

The school's mission statement isn't reflective of the school if not all children are given equal opportunities. Even if a child is not picked for a team does the school step up and encourage the child to try for something that would be a winning thing for him or her? I wonder if alot of schools fall short of really encouraging kids to reach for their best.

Mamma has spoken said...

I never quite understood mission statements myself. Just seems like a way to blow your own horn without doing any work. One can say ALL but as you found out, it's not true. Our schools use to do those mission statements too but we had to 'pick' from a list that were deemed what we needed to work on (faculty and parents would fill out questionnaires to find what were areas that needed improvement). Got to the point, I would lie on them because I was tired of being made to do things thanks to the mission statement. Now we have something else, forget what it is called but the CO will send people down to our school once a year to make sure we are not only teaching it, but have it posted everywhere you go. They'll quiz the students, teacher, and staff what it is and you better know, 'be safe, be respectful, be responsible' because if you don't, the school is written up. Funny thing, they don't ask the students what does that mean, they just want to make sure that can regurgitate it. Seems like a waste of time to me especially since once CO has done their 'study' no one worries about it for the rest of the year...

Brian said...

I agree, you son is very, very lucky!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if society does a disservice to kids with letting "everyone" get a trophy, or let "everyone" make the team. There were sports I tried out for and didn't make initially, but through training and hard work, made the team the next year. Was there disappointment initially? Sure! Was there success later? Absolutely.

I do applaud your efforts to keep your son physically motivated, as there is an obesity epidemic that continues to present new challenges to our nation and world more and more...

Pamela said...

Thank the Lord for mommas like you. I have no question about whether your son will succeed with you as his momma. With or without the school. I hope you get a response from the school soon.

Terra said...

oh me oh my....when I ran track all who wanted to run...ran. You may not have gotten to RACE the races you wanted on comp days...but you ran...I am sorry.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

You raise great questions: how is the school defining success? Is each child allowed to progress to the best he or she can be? Does everyone who works at the school buy into it?

It's disappointing that the school has not responded to your letter. To me, that shows they don't buy into their mission statement, because they are not showing concern for a parent's concern about her child.

Your son is lucky to have parents who are encouraging him to run and move and learn healthy habits. And he's lucky to have parents who are concerned enough about what's going on at school to start a ripple.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm appalled that at the middle school level they don't take all comers who want to participate in track. I've never heard of tryouts and cuts at that level.

Pat Tillett said...

It's great that you support your son! That is so important. It's a sad thing, but politics play a HUGE part in who is chosen for teams and who isn't. I have 5 kids and all were in sports at one point or another. I've seen kids make teams for a lot of reasons other than what it should be.

Julie Musil said...

You make an excellent point. Thank goodness your son has you to nurture and guide him. He's a lucky kid.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

The phrase 'mission statement' makes me cringe, having had to sit in on one too many looooong meeting to discuss the mission statement throughout various jobs.

You make very good points. I'm still surprised they don't just let everyone on the track team who wants to participate :-(

Rita said...

I really applaud you for making a statement; your son is lucky to have you as a mom show will keep encouraging him in the right direction. Sometimes, you wonder who makes these decision.
I have never heard of Quesadilla maker; sounds like fun.
Rita

Just Be Real said...

Hmmmm..... interesting point. Your son should be proud to have a mom like you. Thank you for sharing Tracy.

Out on the prairie said...

that cut can be hard, I was # 16 on a 15 man squad one year. I got the uniform if someone was sick.I kept score and stayed with my endeavor.

Finding Pam said...

I would take you thoughts and attend a school board meeting. The school board doesn't want unhappy parents. Maybe this would enlighten them. You may be the catalyst for change.

I'm so glad that our sons have grown up and are not in public school. We had a time with our school system. I wish more parents would stand up for their child.

We had one son that played all sports, but liked baseball the best. Our other son had Tourette's syndrome and he usually sat the bench when he was little. He did find his niche eventually. Now he is a fireman and para medic.

It is nice to meet you. Thanks for following my blog. I am humbled.

Arkansas Patti said...

Tell your son to take heart. Michael Jordan was cut from his basketball team as a sophomore. He was not considered good enough. Keep tilting at that windmill,someone has to and perhaps change will happen.
Thank you so much for your kind words in your comment. They helped to soothe the raw spot.

71ยบ & Sunny said...

Oh, this really hit a nerve with me. When my son was in high school there was talk that the school was going to start a particular sports team. I don't recall the sport, but I think it may have been track. My son was interested in pursuing this, so I spoke with someone at the school. I was told that the school eventually decided not to pursue the sport because they felt that they could not do a very good job as a team with that particular sport. I was stunned. I do think a little healthy competition is good for everyone, but not to the point that you don't even create the team because you won't fare well at meets! I didn't think that was a very good example to the kids. What does that say? That we only do things that we're sure we can win? Ugh. I think if kids want to play team sports, they should be allowed to whether they are "good" at it or not. Keep track of the scores, hand out awards to the best players, whatever, but at least let everyone who wants to play, play. Interesting post.

Dianne said...

I think you should e-mail Mrs Obama, there's a good chance you'll get a response

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hello There, Since I've been away from blogging for a week, I have alot of catching up to do. We had a wonderful trip to Arkansas --but it's great to visit with my blog friends. Hope things are going well with you.

I love your passion wanting the best for your son. I may be wrong but it seems as if schools these days are just different from the way they used to be... Kinda sad to see this happening. Hang in there ---and keep on fighting for the KIDS.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This is a needed statement...we have to move

Ann said...

I found this attitude very upsetting when I moved to the US and enrolled my children in schools here. The win mentality outweighs the benefit and learning mentality. My son was and still is a very good athlete. He was always being passed over for American games because he wasn't familiar with them. Though he was a quick study and had a natural intuition about what needed to be done. The school coaches discovered this too late. Their loss in my son's case! Their loss in your son's case!

The Armchair Squid said...

Nice to meet you. Good luck with A-Z. I look forward to your posts.

Sue said...

It's always been my opinion that schools are there to teach and that any child that wants to participate in a sports program should be welcomed. The schools seem to think they only need take the very best so they can win. What is that teaching the students? If they allowed everyone to play, perhaps they wouldn't win trophies, but they might produce better citizens.

OK, off my soapbox, now.
Sue