At our staff meeting this afternoon, we took some time to share appreciations – of the community we’ve created and of each other as individuals. There were many riffs on a common theme: we all appreciate being a part of a community where we can be creative, experiment, and take chances. We all are grateful to be a part of a place where we feel like the work we do is meaningful. We all value a community where people support one another, where it’s OK to have bad days and where successes (big and small ) are celebrated.
Meaning. Purpose. Connection. At the end of the day, isn’t that what all of us want?
This work is hard and sometimes heartbreaking. What allows us to come back and do it each day and not carry discouragement or resentment with us? The belief in what we do, and the knowledge that we don’t do it alone.
I am deeply thankful to be part of a place that embodies these values so fully. And I am proud to be part of a school where those values are central to the work we do with our students. Helping students find meaning in the work – especially when it gets hard – isn’t part of any standards framework. Cultivating deep, caring relationships with and among them doesn’t show up on state tests. But these are the most important things we do. This work prepares students for the future by making them less vulnerable to all of life’s turbulence and volatility. But just as important, it gives them more opportunities to experience joy and fulfillment, camaraderie and community today, tomorrow, and the day after that.
We don’t just owe these kids a future. They deserve a present, too.