Good Morning, South Bay! Today is the first day of school in SBUSD. There is such great energy along the sidewalks and school play areas as students arrive early with their new shoes and backpacks and learn where to stand before the first bell rings and who else will be in their classroom. It is a day of hopefulness, anticipation and new beginnings.
Every parent prays that their child is walking into the classroom of a teacher who will be so glad to have this precious child in their class. They fervently hope that this year’s teacher will create a classroom learning environment filled with both the expected academics and the delightfully unexpected opportunities they will always remember, that daily life in the classroom will tickle their fancy and dazzle them, that the learning engagement will cause them to reach new places and feel so proud of their accomplishments.
Each child wants to be smiled at, recognized as an individual and appreciated for the gifts and talents they bring in the door and accepted for any gaps that may exist. They want us to know they are bringing us the very best version of themselves they have – and they are in our hands for polishing! They want to feel that school is interesting, they want to contribute, they need to believe that they are important to us and that they belong in our classrooms – and if they are not here, they are missed. They want to feel that their teacher believes in them and will always help them. They want to feel safe. They want to know that when they make mistakes, they will experience compassionate re-direction.
Every teacher, every principal, every staff member wants only the best for their students. Everyone in SBUSD has been working hard to prepare for today – and for every future school day between now and June 7. We want our students and parents to appreciate both our hard work and our expertise. We hope that our classrooms, cafeterias, buses and playgrounds will be filled with students who want to learn, who will demonstrate self-responsibilty, work and study hard, who will be good to others and stand up for those who are at risk of being outcast or bullied. We want them to develop their character, their minds, their hearts and practice being physically fit. We want them to develop their voices – and to communicate in writing, in speaking, through art, in dance, in drama, through science and social studies problem-solving. We want to show off their accomplishments to the world and we want to help them prepare for a bright future that includes college. We want them now and in the future to think of themselves as patriotic Americans and global citizens.
And we want them to remember this year as the best year ever!
I learned eloquent words last Wednesday from our inspiring speaker, Dave Burgess, that match these best hopes. He said, “I am committed to the idea that each person has the ability to continuously transform their lives.” May that continuous transformation occur within all of us and within every student we serve this year and beyond.