Saturday, August 22, 2015

To the Parents of BBJH

The first and most important goal for the faculty and staff of Bear Branch Junior High is to build meaningful relationships with our students. Sure, we have other goals; for instance, we want to help students to become more skilled writers, to be better listeners, to strengthen their numeracy, to be empathetic, and so on. But, the truth is these goals will never, ever be attained without positive, meaningful relationships with our students. We will greet students with handshakes and smiles; we will compliment them; we will make them feel welcome at our school, in our classrooms, and at school sponsored events; we will do all we can to ensure their success.

One reason for writing this blog is to connect with students and parents. I love my job, but, for me, one of the most difficult parts of being a principal is I don't have a classroom where I see my students everyday, where I get to spend hours each week learning and interacting with them. I see students in the hallways during passing periods, at lunch, and before and after school. It is hard to get to know students in 5 minute increments. So my hope is to connect with students and parents and to let them get to know me and to better understand BBJH through this blog. I'll write weekly (I hope!) on a number of different topics, but as with most things in my life, I'm sure I'll find a way to circle topics back to education, learning, and how to make BBJH a better place to go to school.

Enough with the introduction; let me leave you with the following thoughts - and this is directed at BBJH parents. I have a six-year-old daughter that will start 1st grade at Bear Branch Elementary on Monday. When I drop her off on the first day of school, I will literally be giving the faculty and staff at BBE the most important thing in my life. I could give the staff at BBE my car, and they wouldn't be getting my most important possession; I could give them my house, and they wouldn't be getting my most important thing; I could empty my bank accounts and give every cent to BBE, and, still, they wouldn't be getting what is most important to me. I am giving them my daughter, the most important thing in my life. So, yes, I have high expectations. I expect for my daughter to valued, challenged, comforted, respected, and to be held accountable - nothing special, just what every kid deserves. I have absolutely no doubt that the faculty and staff at BBE will meet my expectations. But, I'm writing this so that you, parents, understand that I know that when you drop your son or daughter off at BBJH, you are entrusting my staff and I with the most important thing in your life, your most prized possession, and we intend to treat them as such. We understand you have high expectations, and we want nothing more than to meet your expectations.

Please don't ever hesitate to contact us. I won't ever blame you for caring about your child. We'll need to work together to make sure your child get the best possible education.

Check out this video for another glimpse into BBJH's philosophy on education: http://tinyurl.com/lp7e6ne

-BK