Aaron Thomas, a native of Parkersburg and now high school principal at Applington Parkersburg School, came to Corydon to speak to the staff members of Wayne Community School before the school year starts. He is the son of Ed Thomas, national football coach of the year and whom was murdered on June 24, 2009, by one of his former football players.
Thomas spoke of knowing in third grade he wanted to be either a pro football player or a teacher. He became a teacher. He talked of how his father had taught him to be passionate about whatever you decided to be. Thomas told the educators, “You can’t fake passion. You just can’t hide it.” His father also taught him to be part of your community, improve yourself and be good to people. Also never forget where you come from. That’s the beauty of a small town Iowa, we care. Home matters!
“You truly have the opportunity each day to make each student believe they can do anything,” said Thomas. Show the children, by your actions, how to get along with everyone. Educators make it possible everyday. Thomas asked “What will your students remember? Make sure when they look back on their school experience it was great. It really influences who they become.” Make sure the students know they are valued and they feel that need to be better after your class.
It’s easy to lead when things go well, true leadership is when you are faced with adversity. My dad always told me life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent is how you handle it.
He challenged the teachers to remember it’s all about perspective. It’s going to be tough on some days. Just remember there are others who have it worse. There are also others who would love to have your job.
“Only you can control your attitude. You have the power to choose. Remember your attitude impacts everyone and only you can control that,” Thomas said.
Thomas told the teachers each student should know these three things about them: do you like me? Can you help me? And can I trust you? This relationship must be in place for each student.
In closing Thomas told them to be the best teacher you can be. You want to make a difference everyday.