I recently had the pleasure of having dinner with a former student and player. Keith Wiggans is in his third year as Head Coach of Men's Soccer at the College of Charleston. We had a long discussion about leadership, transitioning from player to assistant coach and assistant coach to head coach, and all the challenges and opportunities leading a team of young men entails. After our dinner, I texted him and said, “Hey, remember to have fun, you are impacting kids in positive ways every single day even if it’s in little ways!” He replied, “Thanks! That’s what you did for me. It only makes sense to pay it forward.”
People often ask me why I have been in education my entire life. There are many reasons why I have stayed in this career for over 25 years, and Keith is a shining example of why this work brings me such joy. The conversation with Keith is what I consider to be a memorable moment in the life of an educator, but it is also the small, fleeting moments that bring happiness and gratitude. I recently walked out of the Administrative building, a PreK class lined up to enter the gym. When I waved and said hi, I received a barrage of ”Hi Scott” from many of them, and one child came up to me and hugged me. Now that is pure joy. That child will never know how she impacted me in that moment.
So, being an educator is certainly a two-way street. Yes, I have opportunities to affect students in my current position, but the impact the children have had on me over the decades is immeasurable. From brief interactions during recess to formal conversations about diversity at our school to mentoring fifth graders through their PYP Exhibition I am influenced by each of these moments.
Yes, Keith is paying forward our relationship and learning from his students and athletes. Here at FAIS, I feel honored to witness the joy, laughter, and kindness of your children each day. Every time I step on campus, I know I belong.