Our Mission after Sandy Hook
A MiddleWeb Blog
With our love and support for the Sandy Hook community — we all come together. With sadness, admiration, and inspiration because of the Sandy Hook teachers, principal, psychologist, and faculty — Laurie and I dedicate this blog post to honor and celebrate teachers everywhere.
We must begin to transform our intense grief and anger into strong resolve. We are thankful to be teachers. We are humbled by the responsibility to show our students, every day — in every situation — just how much they mean to us.
Living our mission
So although we mourn with an overwhelming sense of sadness that just won’t ease up, we must stay strong and continue to live our mission. We must continue the mission that those brave Sandy Hook teachers and faculty lived. This mission to let our students know just how much they are cared for — how much we care for them — and how much they are loved.
So, we thank, we mourn, and we become inspired by the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary who never faltered, who remained focused in an unspeakably horrific situation, who stayed true to why they became teachers, who put their students’ well-being above all, who let their students know just how very much they were loved.
We will always remember them. And now we regroup — we gain strength — and we continue with our mission.
At this holiday season, it’s difficult, near impossible, to feel the joy that this season is supposed to bring. Yet, let’s come together to try to comfort one another. This post will be all about how we show our students we care. So, please…as a tribute to our Sandy Hook colleagues and their broken-hearted community — join us in sharing our love for students. We are teachers. We are such a dedicated connected community. I’ll start the list…
How I show my students I care:
I smile often. No matter how I’m feeling I smile at them and with them.
I am serious about having high expectations for each of them, and I am silly when I know they need to balance out the fast pace of the schedule, the assignments, and the curriculum.
I listen to what they have to say — I do not do all of the talking. I value their ideas and they know it.
I show them I value their thinking by asking them questions and by commenting on their ideas.
I support their learning, but I let them fail if I have to — just so they can reach that point where they are driven to achieve. That is the point where they own their learning. And then I’m right there to cradle their efforts and structure their independent steps toward reaching their personal best.
I guide them to take ownership for their learning, so they feel that boost in their self-esteem and that passion that can lead to independent life-long learning.
I ask them how they are feeling, and then I really listen to what they say. I also listen to what they don’t say, and then I guide them to solve problems and celebrate their personal successes.
When they share their personal feelings with me, I validate their feelings, and then I support them.
I leave them little notes of encouragement on a post-it on their desk, or in their notebooks. A simple note like: “I notice you are having a great day!” Or “Great job writing in complete sentences!” Or, “You must be so proud of yourself; you raised your hand twice today — I am proud of you, too!”
I just tell them. Very directly. Very honestly. Very enthusiastically. And very often. I tell them just how very much they mean to me.
Happy holidays, everyone…in strength…