2010-04-18 / Viewpoints

Chalk Talk

“Experience is not one thing it is everything”
By John Strycker Superintendent New Lothrop Area Schools

How does my father get smarter every year? As I travel down life’s path, I find myself sounding like my father even in spite of trying NOT to sound like him. In talking last week with my daughter, she asked me if I heard what I had just said. I asked her what she was talking about. She said you sound just like Grandpa …”can’t you hear yourself dad?,” she said. I have also noticed a similar emotion as my first Superintendent, from my first year as a teacher, gets smarter, as well. Even 20 years later, I now find myself thinking, “Oh, that’s why Dr. Carnes made that decision the way he did.” What is this phenomenon I have experienced of people who seem to get smarter as I grow older?

I am finding that experience is not just one thing when it comes to most any task in life, it is everything. We all learn from doing, and typically could do something better the second or third time around given the chance. From a simpler task such of painting a house to a more complex task as building that same house, experience is a factor. It is human nature to learn by experience. This would explain how Pro Quarterback Brett Favre can outplay “kids” nearly half his age. At that level of athletics, time is on the side of youth. However, Favre uses his experience to outplay those much younger than he and continues to do so. It is because he is better mastering what he does on the football field each year he gains more experience. He relies less on his body and youth, and more on how to win each game.

This June, our district will retire three outstanding elementary teachers. Diane Lahmann, Leslie Wendling and Lynne Whitmire will be moving onto a new chapter of their lives when they retire. As we replace those three individuals, we need to be mindful of the experience that they brought to our district. While it is refreshing to see the excitement a new teacher brings to the district, we will miss the experience that Mrs. Lahmann, Mrs. Wendling, and Mrs. Whitmire brought to their classrooms. More importantly, we appreciate the fact that they touched human lives each time they did something for a child in their care. New Lothrop Area Public Schools is a better place because of these three, and we gratefully thank them for their years of service.

Please feel free to come by the school for a visit. For district updates, please visit our website: www.newlothrop.k12.mi.us.

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