I grew up in Columbus, Ohio where college football is king (O-H!). My husband grew up in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Forty miles east of Pittsburgh, it’s the home of Steelers training camp; the NFL reigns supreme there. Our oldest son played high school football all four years and now his younger brother is following in his footsteps. Our daughter is in her third year as the Varsity football team’s student athletic trainer. I suppose this is a long way of saying that football season is a busy time of year in our house. From Friday nights through Saturday afternoons and Sunday evenings (throw in a Monday night here and there too) we’re in the stands or on the couch watching.
While I love a good pro or college game, watching high school football is a different beast for me. As a mom, I find that I spend my time watching my sons in their specific positions more than anything else. I don’t watch the game as much as I just watch them. Maybe I’m unique in that, or maybe other moms can relate. But truly it was through watching my oldest son that I developed a love for the Offensive line. They seem to get the least amount of love. If you have a good O line, you don’t really notice them because you’re busy watching your QB take his time to find the open wide receiver. When the O line does their job, they become almost invisible. But a bad O line, well that’s another story. Suddenly everyone is aware of their ineffectiveness because the QB is vulnerable and under pressure or worse going down for a loss of yards. I suppose that’s why one of the highest paid positions in the NFL is the left tackle, also known as the blindside. His job is to protect the QB, to literally be the eyes in the back of his head and protect him from what he can’t see coming. In the same way, I think families do this for one another.
As a mom, I try to protect my kids’ blindsides. I try to use my life experiences to let them know that while they may be focusing on the football season, they need to keep their eyes on the college essay deadline that is quickly approaching or that history report that they keep putting off. I know my husband has my blindside in hundreds of tiny ways. He knows that when I’m stressed, I just forget to pay attention to the gas tank, but I never find myself stranded on the side of the road because somehow, it’s always been filled up for me. In return I know to keep an eye on his calendar to make certain his suit is back from the dry cleaners in time for this board meeting. Sure, it may not be protecting him from a sack for yards lost on national television, but it’s the little things we do for each other so we can focus our energies elsewhere.
Before my current role in marketing, I was a middle school English teacher. When I was in the classroom one of the things that always struck me, and that many people don’t talk about, is how vulnerable it is for a teacher to stand in front of a room full of students. You’re just a person, trying to meet thirty unique individuals’ needs all at one time, all while keeping them safe and keeping an eye out for any unforeseen events. The reality is teachers need a left tackle! They need someone to watch their blindside while they’re trying to march kids down the hypothetical field of a school year. When I made a career switch it was important to me to land somewhere that had a purpose. It was hard not to fall in love with Status Solutions’ purpose. Through their SARA, CATIE, and MIMI platforms they have an educator’s blindside. They protect with SARA (Situational Awareness Response Assistant). They use CATIE (Communication and Access to Information Everywhere) to keep everyone on the same page, and then they pull in MIMI (Merging Information into Meaningful Insights) to analyze, predict, and prevent. Together these platforms take educators from a place of vulnerability, with an unprotected blindside, to a place of strength, where they know the left tackle will not allow for a loss of yards, or worst-case scenario a loss of life.
But how does someone afford one of those well paid left tackles? At Status Solutions we believe that a lack of funds should never be a reason that schools are left vulnerable. That’s why we offer our SARA platform at no cost through our Grant of Use. Beyond that we have the Status Solutions Network, a franchise opportunity for a community minded individual to build their own business that is designed not just to prosper for the entrepreneur themselves, but specifically to flow cash back into their school district. In this manner the Status Solutions Network brings together the community. Local businesses become the O line protecting the school. Their membership fees to the Status Solutions Network become a financial resource that the school can use to add on security measures, solidify failing facilities, or fill any other needs within the school. Now the local business community also has their school’s blindside.
At the end of the day, events are going to happen, but whether they’re major or minor often depends on how prepared a school is to respond. Let Status Solutions protect your blindside.
About the Author
Laura Hartman is a former English teacher. Currently she is a Marketing Specialist for Status Solutions in Westerville, Ohio, where she calls upon her years of experience in the classroom to aid the company’s mission of protecting the vulnerable and preventing violence in schools.