Mr. Massey's Neighborhood

Principal's Corner

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This episode is brought to you by the number "1".

In sticking with the "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" theme, I thought I'd give some attention to a number that I feel has tremendous value in a public school. (1)

But first....a story that will hopefully somehow connect to that intro. I recently re-watched on Netflix one of my all-time favorite movies, Good Will Hunting. If you haven't seen it, then this description will provide enough spoilers to keep you from ever having to (but I'd suggest watching it anyway).

Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) is a janitor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), he lives in a rough area on the south side of Boston (or "Southie") and spends his days prowling around town with his buddies, picking fights, etc. He had a rough childhood, in and out of foster homes and juvenile centers. But underneath that tough exterior, he is a mathematical genius on the level of folks whose names I can't pronounce.

One night, he solves an unsolvable problem that's posted in the school while he's cleaning. Once the MIT folks find out it was him, they want to tap into his genius. He has no interest, but he gets arrested and released on the condition that he works with the MIT professors and sees a therapist. His therapist, played by Robin Williams, has to break through years of trauma and broken trust before he will open up. But once he does, a bond is formed and that 1 positive relationship causes him to take his life down a different path.

And now for the connection.....just 1 trusting relationship with another human being was enough for Will to completely change the direction of his life. How many of you can point back to the 1 teacher, coach, youth minister, mentor that made a profound difference in your life? I know I can. In all the reading I've done on student attendance and dropouts, if a student has 1 positive connection at school, whether that's with a teacher, staff, an activity, sports, music, clubs, etc. then their chances of dropping out decrease dramatically.

Sometimes it's just about being the 1 thing that helps a kid make it, no matter how small it might seem. If you have a chance to do that....take it.

This message courtesy of the number 1.

Until the next episode.....

Mr. Massey