The 12th annual Delaware Marathon Running Festival was held in Wilmington this past weekend. On Saturday, many of our students kicked off the running festival by participating in the 1.2-mile GYMM (“Get Our Youth Moving Marathon”) Run/Walk. On Sunday, WMS had seven eight-person relay teams comprised of parents, staff, current students, alumni and other friends. By running a little more than 5K each, the teams of eight ran the equivalent of a marathon – 26.2 miles!
Our runners came together to try for their best time, to run alongside children so they could participate, or just to be a part of the group. It was a glorious day. Cheering and encouragement were offered to everyone who ran by our tent. It didn’t matter who they were, how fast they ran, if they were running a leg of a relay, a half marathon or the entire race. What mattered is that they were working toward the goal of making it to the finish line.
It reminded me of what school should be like for each child, no matter who they are. The goal of education is to provide the parameters and lay out the course. There is more than one goal; there are multiple paths toward the goal and each child reaches it in his or her own way. What matters is the willingness to try, the effort given and the support offered along the way.
Visiting a WMS classroom reminds us of this. Children have the structure and predictability of the day laid out for them but each child is on his or her own path. The goal is learning and growing; the joy is in being a part of this team and in an environment that supports each of us as we embrace the discovery and wonder of the process.