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?