Are there any other three words that when combined have such an incredible impact on our hearts and souls? Recently at our district administrative retreat our Superintendent ended his opening speech with his usual message to us, thank you for what you will do this year, and make time to take care of you. However, this year, that usual message was followed by three words: I Love You.

I have a great respect for our Superintendent for many reasons-he is a man with high expectations, great kindness, and he leads with passion, just to name a few. However, his utterance of those three words created a stir like I’ve never seen among his audience. I heard things like “Did he really say I love you?”, “Why would he say that?” and “Can he say that to us?” People were stunned.

Being the emote that I am, I sat with a gracious smile, receiving his message with all the passion with which I felt it was intended. He wanted us to know that to him we matter; that we aren’t simply his working drones, but living breathing, struggling humans who are a part of his team.

Even today, I am still thinking of the impact those three words had on me and on us. More than that, how do we incorporate love into our work with children every day? Do our students know we do this work out of great passion and love? Do our staff members know we care deeply and love them for the work they do with our children each day?

Love is a powerful emotion, one I feel and embrace with ease. I can only hope that our Superintendent’s message will allow others to open their hearts to both give and to feel the love around them. To all those close to me, who do the hard work with children every day, who lead with courage, and need to hear those three little words: I love you. Thank you for being you.