Dear Blake Families:
Happy first day of school! I hope that this update finds everyone well, having enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend. Hopefully you were able to find some time to relax and hold on to the 'last weekend' of summer, as we embark on another year with the students. We had a lovely weekend, having spent the first couple of days on the Cape with my parents, getting together with friends Sunday afternoon, and enjoying the Monday holiday as we 'prepared' for the start of school. I shared with the staff this past week at our opening meeting that one of my goals for this year is to continue to work on finding 'balance', making sure to carve out the necessary time to 'separate' from work and 'unplug'. As you know, this endeavor is an 'uphill climb' for me and for many of us, but the effort is certainly worthwhile.
I want to thank and recognize all of our staff's efforts during our opening meetings last week. The commitment and dedication displayed this past week has laid the groundwork for a positive, healthy, and successful year for our students. I feel fortunate to work with such a talented staff and I know that the community shares that sentiment as well. For your interest, I have created a hyperlink to the video by John Green, the young adult fiction author and vlogger, that I shared at our opening meeting entitled 'An Open Letter to Students Returning to School'. While the piece was filled with humor, I did find that the core of his message touched on many of the tenets we share as educators in a public school setting. This may be a clip worth revisiting at various times throughout the year, when we may lose sight of the bigger picture of our work. The two points that resonated most for me were the simple ideas that students are worth the investment and that we are all better off in a well-educated world.
On a similar, but different centering note, I have also posted a copy of 'This We Believe' (located on the Forms and Documents tab of this blog). This posted excerpt is from This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents, a position paper from the Association for Middle Level Education, formerly known as the National Middle School Association. The paper outlined the association's vision for a successful school for middle level adolescents. Each year our staff signs the pledge and it is framed and posted in the front foyer of Blake. Amidst all the busyness and hectic chaos that can take place the weekend before students arrive, I encouraged our staff to each take a moment to read these words before we greet students Tuesday morning, and I encourage all of you to do the same. My hope is that you will find it affirming and centering as you make your final preparations for your students. I will also strive to keep the closing words in mind throughout the year: Therefore, I proudly dedicate myself to becoming the best middle level educator I can be and an active advocate for all young adolescents.
This year I will be continuing with weekly blog updates for the Blake community, sharing general thoughts, highlighting reminders, announcements, and pertinent information. My hope is that this will continue to provide a structure for consistent communication with the community in a timely manner, while recognizing the need to centralize the information. Updates from the CSA and Medfield Coalition for Public Education will also be shared via this forum.
I look forward to our work together.
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