For the past few years, I have taken this time of year to share a few “words of wisdom” to the students, teachers, and parents preparing for back-to-school. While this is only my personal view, I do hope it offers some comfort to what can be a hectic and emotional time of year.
To all the students, be appreciative of the freedom you have to learn. Some children are not as fortunate. Be proud of who you are and believe in yourself. Be kind to those you meet. Some of your peers may have a hard time making new friends or they may be struggling with their own insecurities. If you see someone being bullied or harassed because he/she may seem a little different, step in and do what you know is right. Say, “Hi,” or smile at that person in the hallway. You never know what they might be facing outside of school or battling with inside. Your small act of kindness may make a BIG difference in someone’s life this school year!
To all the teachers, both new and “seasoned,” know that you have been called to the teaching profession for a reason. The minds and hearts of the students you teach will forever be changed. You have been given the chance to be an influence and an inspiration to your students. As hard as it is to deal with the politics and new policies of school systems, just remember why you are there—to educate and provide a safe environment for the young people you have been given. What you offer them today may have a lifelong impact on the person they become.
To all the parents sending your little ones off to school for the first time, stay strong. I know this can be hard. If you need to cry after you take your child to class, let it out. Your kids will be fine. You know this. The excellent women and men who will be teaching them this year will pour into their little minds and hearts. And your children will grow immensely this year.
For those of you with children starting middle school or high school, stay positive and encourage your child. Build them up and be available when they need you. This is a big step for both of you. This year could be a roller coaster of emotions and new experiences. However, your children will succeed with the support of you, their friends, and their teachers.
To the parents of seniors, this year is critical for your child. The journey to college is exciting and challenging. Enjoy the time you have with your senior and get involved in their lives if you are not already. As much as they may seem like they do not need or want you around, they do. Check in on them and ask about school and their lives. Be present. Be encouraging.
Good luck this year and know that each of you have my thoughts, prayers, and support. Have a great school year, everyone!