In only a few days we will officially begin the 2015-2016 school year. Students will enter our classrooms first thing Wednesday morning. Many students are returning for another year of high school with us and others are starting for the first time. The one thing that holds true for every student is that no "first impressions" have been made yet. Wednesday is the day to "set the stage." Each of us can build rapport with our students by greeting them at the door, smiling, sharing something about who we are, laughing, and making a promise to respect each and every student.
As I begin my 18th year in education I am just as excited as I was for the first day of school 17 years ago. What my time away this summer has helped me find is that taking the road less traveled can be very constructive. For those of you that know me you know I like to be "connected." I am constantly on social media and communicating with staff via email and text. However, it intrigues me to get off the freeway of life and take the side roads every once in a while. On the side roads you can slow down and see the beauty of your surroundings. It is then that the purpose of what you are doing starts to become clear. I want myself and all staff to find mastery in what we do, if that means slowing down then so be it. If it means speeding up then so be it.
I am as passionate as ever about our school working on thinking out of the box and empowering our students. I want us to prepare our students for graduation and post secondary success every minute of every day. What I also want is to encourage each and every one of you to take risks and to push yourself to try something new this year. You don't have to rush and feel pressure, but instead take time to really listen to your students. See what they need and what they haven't been exposed to yet. Then, take off on your creative journey as their teacher. Don't become complacent. When you find yourself having struggles or fears, reach out to a colleague and find support. We are an unbelievable school with an amazing staff. As every speaker noted at last year's graduation, we are a FAMILY for today and forever!!