All across the country, parents are sending their children off to their first days of school. Along with these young people, parents are sending all their hopes, wishes, and dreams for their child’s future. Of course, every parent wants their child to be successful and earn good grades. We all want our kids to love school and be excited to go to school every day, eager to learn. And even if children don’t love every minute of every class or every school day, parents expect their child to be welcomed, accepted, and nurtured at school. When students feel this, we know they can achieve.
Like so many of you, each of the administrators are sending off young people to their first days of school. We want every OMHS student to be received, loved, and nurtured the same as our own children. We realize that our OM students’ experiences may differ greatly from those of our own children, but as a staff, we can begin building relationships with students – first by making them feel welcome and accepting them as they are.
For many of our parents, it may seem as though they are sending to school that itty bitty version of their child, their “baby,” if you will. It was not long ago that our parents first sent their hopes, wishes, and dreams for the future to school for the very first time. Those hopes, wishes, and dreams now walk our halls every day.
How do our words and actions welcome our parents’ hopes, wishes, and dreams for the future? How do our words and actions show we accept these students? How do our words and actions nurture these students carrying our own hopes, wishes, and dreams for the future?
With our first days behind us, I trust that everyone is settling in, getting to know their students, and delivering awesome lessons. The leadership team has seen some awesome team building in classrooms, as well as excellent instruction. I’ve seen many of you taking your get-to-know-you activities to a whole new level, sharing both silly sentiments and deep, serious beliefs in the very first days. Striking a chord with kids really gets them talking.
In modeling for students, I’ve seen many teachers share their personalities, family life and backgrounds with students. Who knew teachers were actual humans with lives outside of school! Each of these nuances that you share with your students, and they share with one another, serve to help students feel respected and accepted so they can truly achieve their dreams.
If you have not already taken some time to build community and teamwork in your classroom, I encourage you to do so over the next few weeks. You can start by having every student learn the names of every student in class. And if you have started the year off with some teambuilding, I encourage you to find ways to continue building team and community in the classroom; don’t make it just a first week of school “thing.” For suggestions, check out this blog with some excellent teambuilding activities: http://wheniwork.com/blog/team-building-games/
Here’s to an awesome year!