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Dear Jewell School Community,
In thinking about the start of the new school year, I wanted to start by setting our intentions and centering our work. Being that I am a recovering English teacher, I wanted to do that with a meaningful word. I didn’t want it to be trite or cheesy or overdone. I am tired of hearing about grit and resilience. That’s not to say they aren’t great concepts, it’s just that sometimes the expectation is that we have to have grit and be resilient, even when we are struggling to get through the day. When the intention is set at the top that staff and students will be resilient, the implicit message is that come hell or high water we will not fall apart. What I have been sitting with is the question, is that fair? Sometimes we fall apart because we are human. Sometimes we just simply can’t be strong or resilient. It is okay to be in that place.
That’s why I want to set our intentions for this year on the word “connection”. Over the last few months, I have had the wonderful gift of talking with staff about how we can best serve our kids. The word that has kept coming to mind for me was “access”. Together, we are trying to find ways that we can help our students and families access needed services and support. Interested, I went down a rabbit hole and looked up words related to “access”. I came across the word “connection”, and something clicked for me.
The definition of connection from 1767 is, "circle of persons with whom one is brought into more or less intimate relations". I love this idea of a “circle of persons”. As an educational team, we are a “circle of persons” who are learning together, growing together, and working to build a great place for our students. I believe that we also have a duty to help our students become part of this “circle of persons” through access to education, life skills, and ways to succeed.
It is our connections to one another that get us through difficult times. It is our connection to students that will help them gain access to the world and their own success. It is our connection to Jewell that will help our team build a community center. Our connections help us when we are weak, when we are strong, when we are jaded, and when we are inspired. When we connect, we can make a considerable difference.
I am truly excited to stand alongside all of you and serve our community this year. Through connection, we will make a difference.
Take care of yourself, and take care of each other.
P.S. In my search for connection, I found this wonderful video that explains so much of what is on my heart. Please watch… Because of a Teacher (A Tribute to All of Those Making a Difference)