School starts tomorrow. This brings about a mix of emotion as some of you are excited to return and see your teachers and classmates, while others may feel anxious about a new year. You are probably wondering who your teacher will be, who will be in your class, and whether or not you will have a great year.
While you are getting ready for your first day, we, as a staff, are getting ready to greet you. Your teachers have been in decorating classrooms, secretaries have been organizing everything you need for a smooth start up and we have been planning ways to help you have a great year. We can’t wait to meet our new students and welcome back our returning students.
Our school is a fantastic place to be with opportunities for all. As your principal, I have ten hopes for you as you begin your new year:
- I hope you smile when you see your friends again, but more importantly, I hope you keep your eyes open for new students, or students looking to find a friend. I hope you invite others to join you at recess and lunch to help everyone feel included. When you meet your new class, I hope you see new friendships waiting to happen.
- I hope you feel safe to ask great questions. Unlike when your parents and I went to school, the curriculum has changed to include much more inquiry learning. This means that if you are passionate about a certain topic, there are ways we can connect it with you’re learning. Please feel free to ask great questions so you can learn about topics that mean a lot to you.
- Children are inherently creative. I hope you share your creative ideas with us. We can often be quite flexible allowing you to demonstrate your learning in various ways. If you would like to build a model, write a song, perform a play or invent a new club, please speak up and share your ideas.
- Every single student at our school has strengths. When someone has different abilities than you, I hope you see them for what they can do, rather than for what they can’t do. Some kids are naturally good at math, while others are naturally good at making friends. Some can climb higher and some can read faster. Every one of us has our gifts to offer. When you look at one another, I hope you see strengths.
- I hope you learn to love reading. We no longer send books home based on reading levels. We want you to read what you love. If a book looks exciting, pick it up. If you are passionate about robots, we will find you robot books. If you love animals, we have books for you too. If you take 15 minutes each night to read a book you love, soon you will learn to love reading. This skill will expand your horizon and open up many doors in your future. Read, read, read.
#5 Problem Solve
- Please know that each one of us makes mistakes. You will make mistakes at school, and sometimes, recess and lunch will not go smoothly. On bad days, we are here to help. We are not here to get mad at you. We are here to help you problem solve, reflect on what happened and repair any relationships that are broken. When something goes wrong, we hope to help you learn from it so you can return strengthened.
- When my own children get home from school, I like to ask them “Who did you help today?” Keep your eyes open for ways you can help. Perhaps you will volunteer in the library, or perhaps you will be a lunch monitor. Perhaps you will help keep our playground clean. There are always ways to give back to our community.
#3 Risk Taking
- Learning means stepping outside our comfort zones. Sometimes this is scary, as it’s much easier to focus on things we are already good at, however practice does make us better at new things. If something is hard for you, take a chance, and trust that you will get better at it with time.
- I hope you take time each day to do what you love. School and learning are important, but so is play. Take time to participate in activities you love, and take some time to relax. Get outside, spend time with friends and family, and before you fall asleep, think of three things you are grateful for. This will help you sleep well, ready for a new day.
- This may seem like a funny word for this list, but it’s what I really hope for you. I hope you love coming to school, I hope you love learning, and I hope you love the friends and adults you get to be with every day. I hope our staff love coming to work and love helping you. When our hearts are full, we are ready to learn.
I can’t wait to see you all tomorrow. This is going to be a fantastic year together.
Well said, Kristi! Your words from the heart are exactly what school is about. Thank-you!