What are the teachers and principals looking for from our students? This is a question that should be on the minds of all students as move through the start of a new school year. Many of you may think that teachers and principals wish all students were perfect little angels who scored a 100% on every test and never made a mistake. This would make our jobs easier but would not enhance the quality of “our school”. Our school is made great by the diversity of our student body. Each individual student brings myriad talents and gifts with them into the classroom. Every student can personally contribute to our school, to each class, to their own learning and to the learning of others.
We desire students who are focused on learning and improving themselves. We desire students who can come to class prepared not only with books, notebooks, and pencils; but with an open mind and a willingness to engage in positive discussions that will contribute to the learning of everyone in the class. We desire students who will try and who give a sincere best effort. We desire students who exhibit self-control and self-respect. Students who can speak from the heart with conviction and also listen when others share their experiences and learning. We desire students who are honest and face their fears and challenges head on. We desire students who are not afraid to seek help from others or to give freely of themselves to make our school a better place. We desire students who extend kindness to their peers, who hold a door for others, and who share a smile with someone they don’t really know.
The point of this message is: “Do these characteristics describe you?” Do you think our school would be a better place if each student, each teacher, each principal, and everyone who enters the doors of Hopewell High School gives just a little more effort to making our school a better place to spend each day? Can you make a difference? I think I can! I promise I will do my best to make our school a safe, secure place where the focus and attention can be on learning and helping you grow as individuals; a place where you can share your talents and skills; and finally, a place where you can be comfortable, respected, and yourself.
The words below are not mine but I can not recall the source. They are important to me and I hope you will remember them as you approach each day.
"As you enter our school please choose to make each day a great day. Everyone including students, teachers, and you will be glad you did. Find ways to enjoy your teaching and learning. We can be serious about our teaching and learning without being overly serious about ourselves. Stay focused in order to be aware when your fellow students, teachers, and peers need your assistance and attention. And should you feel your energy lapsing, try this surefire remedy: Find someone who needs a helping hand, a word of support, and/or a good ear – and make their day."
Let us all work together to make “our school” the best it can be; to make this school year the best ever; and I ask you to strive as an individual to not only be the best learner that you can be but also to be the best person you can be.
Just do it, we know you can!