For the past few days, our teachers have been back getting ready for a new group of students, and the excitement in the building has been incredible! We have committed this year to spend the first two days getting to know students and building foundations for lasting, positive relationships.
We believe one of the keys to our success as our school has grown to almost 3,000 students is the strong teaching staff who build relationships with students. I believe that a person can feel lonely even in a smaller school, but what's important is that each students find a small group (club, sport, even a class period) where they are connected and cared for. Each teacher has an opportunity to create a community within his or her classroom where each student feels respected and loved.
Our staff does a great job of connecting with students and connecting them with each other, which is extremely important in our large high school. This year, we are being very intentional about it with our pledge to get to know students on the first two days.
Sometimes our influence isn't apparent right away. Some students don't affirm the teacher that what he or she is doing is making a difference. Sometimes we plant seeds that bloom later on in life. I know that on my "to-do" list for this weekend is to write a thank you letter to my PE teacher from elementary school.
When teachers get messages from students that tell how the teacher has impacted the student's life... it's priceless.
Below is an actual email that a teacher at our school shared with me this week. (The teacher's name and student's name are left out intentionally.) THIS reminds us why we do what we do.
Hey Mrs. Teacher (:
I hope your summer is going good so far. If you don't remember me I'm *Student* from your 5th period English class, I'm not sure if you check your emails during the summer but I came across this 6 minute video about self love and self worth, and it really got to me. I've been struggling for a long time with finding the beauty in myself. And this video has inspired me to start working harder in finding self love. I'm sending you this link because you're the most inspiring teacher I've had so far. You'd always show these videos in class from time to time, inspiring videos, and you'd do everything you could when it comes to being there for someone, And I really thought you should check this out and maybe you can use it this year or if you have a student in one of your classes that struggles with self hate maybe you can show them this. It's inspired me. I know it can inspire others.
Enjoy the rest of your summer 😊
To all the educators...
Have a terrific school year!