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Administration, Education, Leadership, Teaching

You Are A Difference Maker!

This is a brief message written to our staff in anticipation of our first day of school (also posted on our school’s professional learning community blog).
What's your superpower?

cc flickr photo by Krissy.Venosdale

As we prepare for the arrival of our students, I hope you will take a few quiet moments to put aside lesson plans, forget about administrative tasks, and consider our purpose (as a school, and as individual educators): we must attend to the academic, social and emotional needs of each one of our students.  Our educational system asks a lot of teachers, and unfortunately, in times when we are spread too “thin,” it is difficult to maintain our focus on the best interest of kids.  That is why it is so critical that we take time for reflection, deliberately considering how we maintain student centered practices on our campus and in our classrooms.

When our students walk through the front gates on Monday morning, please remember that you are a difference maker!  The small gestures you make to welcome students, and demonstrate an interest in their lives, will have an impact.  There is tremendous power in a smile, a handshake, or an encouraging word.  In the coming year, you will have opportunities to build confidence where it hasn’t existed, develop connections that have never been present, and generate hope for students who’s academic careers have been marred by hopelessness.  All of these are truly super powers!During yesterday’s training, the presenters shared the following quote – a powerful reminder of our ability to make a difference (either positive, or negative).

I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom.  It’s my daily mood that makes the weather.  As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.  I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.  I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.  In all situations, it is my response that decides whether crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.  ~ Haim Ginot

You should all be proud of the profession you have chosen, the hard work you do on behalf of our students, and the determination with which you address challenges.  In the first few days/weeks of school I challenge you to really get to know your students, share a little about yourself, develop meaningful connections, and make decisions based upon what is best for kids.

Thank you for all you do for our school community…your efforts are noticed, and appreciated!

About azjd

Junior high principal by day, aspiring difference maker, and Jedi in my own mind. Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.


7 thoughts on “You Are A Difference Maker!

  1. I love this post! I am going to email it to my principal!

    Posted by Oldschoolteach | July 22, 2012, 3:30 pm
  2. Reblogged this on Teaching Upstairs and commented:
    We are truly the difference makers in the classroom. We can unite students and make them see each others strengths OR we can choose to point out flaws and become a force of destruction in a students life.

    Posted by Mackenzie Sheahan | July 24, 2012, 5:29 pm
  3. The quote by Haim Ginot was given to me on my very first day of class in one of my teaching courses. It is very powerful one!

    Posted by mslissa25 | July 25, 2012, 6:06 am
  4. Excited to give this to my new staff! I’m the brand, spankin’ new coordinator for a 7 school consortium and needed something encouraging for the beginning of year staff meeting-an ice breaker so to speak… thanks!!!

    Posted by Nicole Hayes | August 6, 2012, 9:54 am


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Jeff Delp

Junior high principal by day, sports enthusiast, technology fanatic and jedi in my own mind. Striving to be a difference maker!
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