I’ve always remembered the scene in ‘The Untouchables’ where a mortally wounded Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery) grabs Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and with his dying breath, rasps, “What are you prepared to do?”
Malone was asking Ness, as he had done a couple of times earlier in the film, how far he was prepared to go to take down Al Capone.
I’ve always remembered that because in life there seems to be lots of opportunities to make a noble effort, without really doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal.
Well, our goal for our Class 10 students this year has been to pass the School Leaving Certificate (which now goes by another name). This batch of students has really struggled – they have lots of family problems and they have been taught poorly for many years, so we decided to go the extra mile for them this year and set up a revision hostel.
This means that for the past 3 weeks they have never left school – they eat, sleep and study at school 24 hours a day. Of course that also means that our teachers have had to take on shifts every night and stay with the students. It’s been hard work, but without doubt a success, and all credit to the teachers; they did so voluntarily and without complaints.
So in answer to the question, ‘What are you prepared to do?’ The answer is everything. We are prepared to do everything to help our students succeed.