Lately, because I have been more inactive than usual in the weekends (with no school sport to coach or watch), I have been enjoying American Football.
I know a number of boys here in the school actively follow teams, so I am not alone in spending time watching the pageantry and hype that is associated with a number of American Sports.
Through this experience I came across a film clip of Tim Tebow, an ex- player now commentator when he was playing for Florida University some years ago. Florida were on course for an undefeated season and they had just lost to a team they should have beaten. He was crestfallen and made an impassioned speech in which he promised that he, and his team would try even harder, and from then on would be once again undefeated.
It got me thinking about promises.
Now as a teacher, and as a parent I get promised all sorts of things, usually around the whole 'life changing conversion' route. Few if any are followed through. That is not a criticism of the boys, rather, I wonder if like so many words, such as commitment, diligence and real empathy, we have just forgotten what a promise actually is.
Because it is a commitment to improve, grow and change.
That is why I was so happy today to sign approximately two dozen value cards. These have been written by staff to acknowledge the values we have, respect; courage, honour, perseverance leading towards a personal level of excellence. These words, at least today, have had a meaning for our boys.
Finally, enjoy time with your boy. Make him make you a holiday promise (game less, be outside more, or shower at least once), hold him to it and congratulate him when he does it. Help him remember the value of a word like promise. Oh and I need to mention, Tebow and the Florida Gators kept that promise. They won all of the rest of their games including the national championship. He promised, he meant it, and it happened.