What I should have said
I have a secret….I am a very shy person. Wait. A shy journalist? How can this be? Trust me when I say I’ve asked myself that plenty of times!
I was recently in a situation where I was asked to speak in front of a large crowd. Not like Madison Square Garden filled to capacity large, but what I would consider to be larger than what I feel comfortable with. Looking back now, I wish I had taken that chance to speak.
Let me set the scene for you – BPT Publisher Randy Brown and I presented Readers’ Choice certificates to the Bossier Parish schools winners and finalists during last week’s school board meeting. Sounds harmless, right? You’d think so.
I had a feeling the opportunity for me to speak would come up so I took some time earlier in the day to have a pep talk with myself and “prepare a speech.” Knowing ahead of time key points and having mental notes would surely make things easy for me. But in the moment I was asked to make a few remarks, I froze and declined the offer. Why did I do this?? I was prepared for this moment!! Needless to say, I’ve been kicking myself in the rear ever since.
Fortunately, I have a platform that will allow me to reach a much larger audience without having to think of people in their underwear to calm my nerves. It’s just me and my computer this time!
So here it is, folks. Here’s what I should have said: One of the greatest parts about my job is that I am allowed inside the hallways and classrooms to see what’s happening in our schools firsthand. I’m proud to say I’ve been to every elementary, middle and high school in Bossier Parish at least once in the five (almost six) years I’ve been with the Bossier Press-Tribune.
School professionals don’t always get the credit they deserve, but we’re here to say we support you! If it were my choice, I would give an award to every school and teacher because it’s certainly earned.
Whether you were a finalist or the readers’ favorite, the important thing to remember is that you and your school have left a lasting impression on someone. We often remember that one teacher who made an impression on us or have memories linked to a particular school that will stay with us forever. I hope you smile each time you see your award and remember just that. Congratulations to everyone!!!
So what did I learn from this experience? It’s not often that I go “out on a limb” to try something new, but maybe I should just “come out of my shell” and speak the words that really should be said.
Amanda Simmons is Managing Editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org