DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #42

Dear Granddaddy, how do you feel about the changes in the New Britain School District, which you work in? Sam B- teacher.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Well, Sam, I can tell you that change is never easy, especially if some passing-through school administrator is making changes just for the sake of change so they can build their resume. I’d have to say though, that’s not the case here in New Britain. Our school district superintendent certainly isn’t a passing-through school administrator.

However, you probably have heard that there has been some grumbling by some teachers who were involuntarily transferred. And you also probably already know that grumbling thing is normal whenever there is change.

Mr. Escobales, the New Britain teachers’ union president, has come out publicly saying that he isn’t against change. He’s for the students and teachers. And he believes that well-thought-out change is good for all of us. Still… it isn’t easy…

During the district’s convocation, Superintendent Nancy Sarra quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s famous 1910 Man in the Arena Speech. Teddy’s speech is one of my favorite speeches. It reminds us of the admiring and noble quality of daring greatly, even if we fail. The speech reminds us that daring greatly is the only way to succeed wildly, but may also cause us to fail big too, however.

Each end of the success and failure spectrum adds to our stories of being human. And no matter where we land on it, it’s still better to add to our human story by daring greatly, rather than just sitting back, doing nothing but critiquing others, and sadly know neither victory nor defeat.

Listen, Sam, none of us know how this restructuring of the New Britain school district will truly turn out. We don’t have a crystal ball. But, we’re giving our best, and hoping for the best, too. And while we’re daring greatly we’re continually learning lessons along the way and adding onto the New Britain story, as well as our own stories as well… Thanks for writing in, Sam, with this great question. You were brave. You took action. And you too dared greatly!

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Dan Blanchard is an international bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in over 100 television and radio shows, as well as some of the world’s top podcasts. Find out more about Dan or submit a question at