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Several years ago, someone I worked with gave me this postcard. I admit that I was tempted to pull this out and use it during more than one parent conference in succeeding years. My viewpoint as a classroom teacher was a bit narrower than it is now because it had to be. You can't focus your energies on being the best you can be for the kids in your class each and every day plus advocate for ways to make the system as a whole better. There's not enough time and headspace to go around. The kids have to come first. Now that I've traded the classroom for the system, I don't know that I react to this postcard in the same way. I think I've learned more about making myself suit the needs of students and teachers rather than finding ways to make the kids fit my needs. Sometimes, learning doesn't happen because there's something not working with the kid...and sometimes it's the system. Somewhere in the middle of that postcard is the truth.