It’s Thursday night. It’s been a great second week of school. The kids have been on campus for eight days now.
The campus is abuzz and it sounds something like this:
“I feel like I already know my kids really well”
“I’ve emailed with the parents several times. They were really concerned because R is new to us this year, but he’s doing great and his parents are feeling better now about how he’s adjusting and making friends.”
“I have all my kids in word study groups, and some of them are going to need the next grade level’s assessments.”
“I’m worried about J, she lost two reading levels over the summer.”
“I can help with…”
“I need help with….”
I saw the lights on and the doors open when I left campus this evening at 6:00 in at least two classrooms. It’s this way each evening when I leave. And though I arrive over an hour before school begins in the mornings, invariably there are a couple of teachers who beat me to campus. Teachers are busy getting ready for Back To School Night, but also preparing for the next day’s assessments and lessons that follow. They’re busy learning about THIS year’s class full of wide-eyed, wonder-seeking learners.
As I observe all that is occuring at the beginning of this packed-full-of-promise school year I pause to consider all that has come before I stepped into this place as its principal.
The motto for our school has been “This Place Matters”. I see this in many places around the school. And I agree. It does indeed matter. And what really matters about it is this:
Each and every child who walks through its gates in the morning.
There is so much good work to be done. Students need to grow their reading and writing and mathematical muscles. They need support and coaching to take their next steps. Teachers know we must be poised and ready and ALL IN for our kids.
Thanks to facebook and Jenn Serravallo, I discovered this blog post entitled The Truth Isn’t Always Pretty by Ann Marie Corgill whom I have never met, but would like to. Read it. You’ll agree. Ann Marie is clearly a dedicated, hard working, professional and top notch teacher. This is my favorite part.
The only thing that matters are the children that sit before you in that new classroom TODAY. They are different and precious and rare and totally unlike last year’s group….and every single one of them deserves our greatest attention, our greatest patience, our greatest love, and our greatest teaching.
No matter what.
Isn’t that perfect?
I think it encapsulates what matters. It makes me know in a deep way what the school motto, “This Place Matters” means. It means that each child entrusted to our care, each child who comes to us each day to learn and grow, each child who struggles to know they are fine and perfect and rare and wondrous – each child.
Each child in front of us today.
That is the heart of what matters. I feel immense gratitude hearing this truth echoing in the corridors and classrooms across our campus each and every day.
What truths do you hear echoed through your school? What matters most to you this school year?
Thank you Two Writing Teachers for a place to share this writing and for supporting instruction across our country and across the world.