In my experience, children always come back from summer with plenty of stories to tell, and as educators, we love your children’s stories! They help us get to know our students, shining a light on the complex influencers that have come together to create the fascinating individuals who sit before us in the classroom each day.
Each child has a story that influences how they view themselves and their world. We therefore begin this school year with the strongest conviction to create an environment of respect and compassion that encourages each child to bring his or her story, and most authentic self, to light.
Children need to know that their stories have value, just as they themselves are innately and immeasurably valuable. They also need to hear stories shared by the people they hold in the highest esteem. When family members, coaches, teachers, and mentors share stories about how they struggled with school or friendships, children recognize that challenges are not the stuff of shame, but part of the human experience.
I have encouraged our teachers to appropriately share their stories with their students, so children can see we all face challenges and have vulnerabilities. As part of our stories, they enrich us but do not define us. We are so excited to see your children learning and growing!
We hope the upcoming year — a new chapter in your children’s stories — will be a happy one.
Benjamin H. Picard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools