When I was a little boy, I always wanted to fly like Superman, to the point my poor mom was worried I would jump off my garage roof to gain some early altitude. To start this school year, we have weaved an aspect of that dream into this year’s message.
Significant research shows building resiliency in our students will help them throughout life, and a critical path to accomplishing that is developing empathy, compassion and kindness in ourselves and in our children. As part of our Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) efforts this year, one of our focal points is encouraging kindnessthroughout our community. One of my favorite quotes from (Mr) Fred Rogers is:
Last Thursday, keeping with our tradition, we kicked off the school year with our full staff meeting at Convocation. It was a fun event, which we are excited to show you when we send the full Convocation video soon. For now, on the eve of the first day of school, I want to make sure you are aware of the “green secret” that will occur tomorrow and what we hope it will symbolize for our students, staff and the entire community.
My experience is that children listen to some of what adults say, but they are always keenly watching what the adults do. Tomorrow morning, when the children arrive at school, they will see our entire staff wearing bright green glasses (all donated by the Eanes Education Foundation in support of our #BeKindEaneISD effort). From the crossing guard, bus driver, teacher, custodian, principal …. We will all be wearing bright green glasses. When the kids ask why everyone is wearing green glasses, our response will be we are all focusing on the importance of beingkind to one another. My wife and I even forced our pup Josie to support the effort.
We will keep this effort alive all year, by having a few “Green Glasses | Kind Days,” where we will focus on specific aspects of our SEL efforts, including creating a more inclusive culture, meeting the needs of ALL students, using technology thoughtfully, finding balance in our lives and communicating respectfully with all, regardless of differences. Our children are watching – we will be examples of the qualities we desire to instill in them, to help them develop the traits that will benefit them throughout life. It starts with green glasses tomorrow … and my poor efforts to be “Super”intendentMan in the video below to spread kindness across all of Austin (thank you Mayor Adler).
Welcome back …. And let’s have a great, kind, school year,