Guest Commentary: Lance Scranton: ‘Lead, follow, or get out of the way’
"The upside is we’re in this together. I can do better and I know this community deserves my best effort. Our community and our students can do better, and I believe we should each look within ourselves and 'lead, follow, or get out of the way.'"
— Lance Scranton, a Moffat County High School teacher and coach, in this week's column installment
History is important, but what’s more critical is how you move forward.
A wise community member referred to momentum a couple of weeks ago during the Booster Club meeting. Getting something started and changing a mindset can be incredibly difficult.
If you attended the basketball game Friday night at Moffat County High School, you can see changes are happening. Led by athletic director Jeff Simon, the atmosphere was great.
The band was playing, fans were cheering, and athletes were hard at work on the court. But, the Bulldogs came up short in both contests.
Some might argue all the effort put forth to watch our team lose was wasted momentum.
We showed up, we cheered, the band played, we even gave away a television. We deserved to win, didn’t we?
The reality is that we played two talented squads from Delta and we came out on the losing end. There’s no disgrace in that. It happens sometimes.
The fundamental law of teaching and coaching is patience revolves around the premise that students haven’t “arrived” yet.
As someone who has dedicated his career to being part of this complicated and time-consuming process, it can be difficult and sometimes feel as though forces both inside and out are working against success.
Greek philosophers believed sacrifice not only expressed gratitude, but it also induced excellence.
Excellence demands a higher form of behavior, one that is not willing to settle for “good-enough.” Some students in my classes say, “It’s good enough,” or “It’s just Craig, what do you expect?”
I usually respond, “Yes, it is good enough and this is Craig, but is it your best?”
I know a bunch of people in this community who are examples of excellence. What we must do as adults is expect excellence from kids who are around us every day.
The people who most influenced my life (and got me through high school) were coaches who taught me the importance of sacrifice and hard work.
I don’t think students are as interested in standardized scores as much as score of the games, but the two go hand-in-hand and are a reflection of our community. The degree to which we allow them to make the necessary sacrifices to become excellent is the crucial test.
This is the tough part.
It’s not easy and it takes some courage to speak up and speak out about having a higher expectation of students in our community.
Will kids rise to a higher expectation? Absolutely.
If we keep filling the gym for basketball games, kids begin to realize we care and we want them to win.
We come together with an expectation and it begins to rub off on students on the court. This carries over into all aspects of our community.
Wisdom dictates that if you see a problem or concern, it is likely an opportunity to get involved on whatever level is necessary to make a positive change.
The upside is we’re in this together.
I can do better and I know this community deserves my best effort. Our community and our students can do better, and I believe we should each look within ourselves and “lead, follow, or get out of the way.”