Around this time each year, I like to share a few words to the students, teachers, and parents preparing for back-to-school time. 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.
To all the students starting school, 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 be struggling to make friends or struggling with their own insecurities. 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 battling 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 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. What you offer them today may have a lifelong impact on who they become.
To all the parents sending your little ones off to school for the first time, stay strong. I know it’s hard. You can cry as soon as you get back to your car or walk back inside. Your kids will be fine. The excellent women and men who will be teaching them this year will pour into their little minds and hearts.
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 and there will be trials. 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 don’t need or want you, they do. Check in on them and ask about their studies and their lives. Be present.
Good luck this year, and know that each of you have my thoughts, prayers, and support. Have a great school year, everyone!