Sunday, August 31, 2008

Opening Day

Well last Thursday we had new student orientation and several hundred 9th graders showed up for their first day of high school. There was the usual stuff; finding homerooms, getting lockers, touring the building, and running though a mini-schedule. All of this was preceded by an assembly where the main speaker was the principal. This was the fourth time I have heard him give this opening and each year there is something new or I hear it in just a slightly different way. So what was new for this year? A rhetorical question "Why are you here" it is for one of three reasons (natural I boiled 20 minutes down to 3 lines):
  1. Someone made you come today.
  2. You have the goal to graduate high school.
  3. You want to prepare yourself for your future.
Obviously choice three is the one that we hope all students make, and I am sure that most of them do. So the real challenge is how to change the number 1s and 2s into number 3s? When I come up with the plan that works then I can really retire, so until then I will just have to keep on trying to make a difference where ever I can. After all that is what teaching is all about. My principal has ended every 9th grade opening with the same three keys to success. His claim, do these three thing and you will be successful in preparing yourself for your future.
  1. Show up and be on time every day, all 720 of them.
  2. Treat everyone you meet, teachers, staff and fellow students, the way you would like to be treated.
  3. You have to do your work, the only one on in the list that is actually difficult.
Well there you have it the simple way to help your students have a great year. I also just got a chance to watch the key note of Dalton Sherman at convocation of the Dallas Independent School District, if you have not seen it yet watch it. I have lots of great ideas for this year and I still need to get some post written from this summer, so my goal is to keep up with posts this year.

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