Three weeks into the school year and we are off and running. We have so much excitement going on every day, that it would be nearly impossible to share it all in just one article. Something I must mention though is the love and support that our students and staff have shown over the last couple of weeks for the people that have suffered greatly in recent tragedies. As educators, we love to see our children showcase their learning, but it quickly turns to a utopia feeling when our students showcase a caring mind as well. Our district raised over $2000 for hurricane relief and the family of Savanna Greywind last week. It’s an incredible feeling to be leading a district that believes serving, loving, and supporting others is a priority. And it has often been said that helping others is the main ingredient to the recipe of helping ourselves.
Speaking of ourselves and thinking mainly about our students, I’d like to touch on something in this week’s article that many are not aware of. Yes, the excitement surrounding the start of the school year has been great, but the start of the year can be quite stressful as well on our kiddos. Many students try so hard to be part of the “in” crowd, that they deviate from being themselves. This is a problem. I know my words probably go as far as your words as parents, but being true to yourself is much cooler than being fake to fit in. After all, when we try so hard to be someone else, there is nobody left to be us.
So how do we instill into our kiddos (and ourselves for that matter) that if we must “change” to fit in, that it’s not worth it? How do we get through to our kids (and ourselves) that we all have something unique that makes us special? We all have gifts and talents that have been given to us to bring positive change to the world.
I’m not an expert by any means but I’ve got a passion that burns deep within me. I was a student that tried hard to fit in. I didn’t fit in with the “in” crowd because I didn’t do the so called “cool” things. My only avenue to fit in was sports. Honestly, if I didn’t have sports and a family that was absolutely outstanding, I’m not so sure I’d be here writing this today. This pains me, and not for people to feel sorry for me. It pains me because I think about the students that haven’t’ found their avenue yet, or don’t have an outstanding family of support.
I apologize for being overly transparent but a student that is stressed, full of anxiety, and dealing with trauma will not learn. These feelings can be considerably overwhelming as a school year begins. So what can we do as parents, community members, and educators you might ask?
We must celebrate differences and individuality. We must tell ourselves and our children that if we need to change who we are to be accepted that it’s not worth it. We cannot allow the gifts that we have been given to go unwrapped. As educators, we must realize that the three R’s – reading, writing, arithmetic mean nothing if the fourth “R” relationships are not present. We must give our children a feeling of self-worth. We (ourselves) must exhibit a feeling of self-worth. We all can contribute something great to this world. We must believe it.
Although I’m proud to say that Beulah Public Schools has embraced this, we can’t let collective excitement cast a shadow over individual struggle. As we go through the school year and beyond I ask that you make a concerted effort to celebrate yourself and others. I ask that you see differences as gifts and struggle as opportunity. I ask that you stay true to yourself and encourage our kiddos to do the same. We must make “fitting in” not in, and standing out what it’s all about.
I’m honored to be co-leading our young Miners with all of you. I’m especially honored to see how our students and staff saw that “in” was helping others this past week. We are headed in the right direction and we must continue to be relentless in our pursuit of greatness for every child and every being.
Blessings to all the families in the world dealing with tragedy and blessings to all of you and our students for a great school year.