Friday, June 12, 2015

#bestyearever

Way back on August 1, 2014, I emailed all of the staff a welcome back letter.  In the letter were three main areas of focus- relationships, PBIS, and family engagement.  They were to be my three areas of focus and I think I was trying to persuade you to make them yours, too.  Towards the end of the letter was the motto that I hoped that we could live by this year- "Let's make this the best school year ever."  The motto became a bit of a running joke with daily announcements and the final line to "make it the best Friday, or whatever day it was, ever."  In retrospect, I think that the motto has stuck with each of us and with the kids.  You have truly made this the #bestyearever.

  • Your relationships with our kids, their families, and with each other grew better and better every day.
  • Thanks to Matt and Katie, our PBIS program has a very strong foundation that can be built upon for an even more effective program for the years to come.
  • Family engagement is improving as seen by the number of volunteers we have visiting our school for academics, arts, athletics, and showcasing of student work at conferences and portfolio nights.
We now turn the page on the 2014-2015 school year and begin to look ahead to next year.
  • We'll have a new look to some of our classrooms.
  • There will be new students and families to build relationships with and foster growth and learning.
  • There will be some adjustments to PBIS that will make this an even better program for our students and each other.
  • Some of you will wake up in August, much later than the rest of us, with new opportunities that you have worked to attain during your many years of giving to others. (Best wishes Tracey, John, Beth, and Barb!)
Now I'd like you to enjoy this last day with our kids.  Find the good in each of them.  Share that last smile or hug or high five or fist bump.  To quote Theodore Roosevelt, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."  That's the way it is for our kids and that's the way it is for adults.  Our kids, whether you know it or not, do know how much you care.

Think about when you were growing up.  During these middle school years, there were times when you thought that you were smarter than your parents.  I know that I did.  It wasn't until much later, when I became a husband and father, that I realized they were the smartest people that I knew.  Our students oftentimes feel the same way that I did.  But then there are times, like last night at 8th grade graduation, when the kids and their families step up, look you in the eye, and thank you for the direction that you have provided.  My hope is that you each have one of those moments today with your kids.

Thanks for making this #thebestyearever!