Around this time last year, I wrote the following post to the students, teachers, and parents preparing for back-to-school time. I have made a few minor changes and am sharing this message again. While this is only my personal view, I do hope it offers some solace to what can be a hectic and emotional time of year. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Have a great school year, everyone!
To all the students starting school, be appreciative of the freedom you have to learn. Be true to yourself this year and kind to those who may be struggling to make friends. If you see someone being bullied or picked on because he/she may seem a little different, step in and do what you know is right. Say “hi” or smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school or struggling with inside. Your small act of kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone’s life this school year!
To all the teachers, 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 of school systems and new policies, just remember why you are there: to educate and provide a safe environment for the young people you have been given.
To all the parents sending little ones off for the first time, stay strong. Your kids will be fine. The excellent women and men who will be teaching them this year will pour into their little minds. For those of you with children starting middle school or high school, stay positive and encourage your children to be who they are. It’s a big step up, but they will survive with the support of you, their friends, and their teachers. To the parents of seniors, this year is critical for your child. Enjoy the time you have with them and get involved in their lives if you are not already.
Good luck, everyone, and know that you have my thoughts, prayers, and support this school year.