Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How Are We Thankful Throughout the School Year?

This is the time of year when people across America ask themselves, “What am I thankful for?” and reflect and share those answers with others.  So when I ask myself that question, do I answer as a superintendent?  As an educator?  As a parent?  As a member of the community?  Would my answer differ or would it be the same? 

Of course, I am thankful to be a part CHCCS and its community.  Every day I continue to learn.  As someone new to the area, I’ve been thankful for the enthusiastic welcome I’ve received since I arrived; however, what I’m about to say isn’t probably what most people expect, although it’s nonetheless true:  I’m thankful for all the challenges CHCCS has put in front of me, as a life without challenge is stagnant and doesn’t allow one to grow.  How CHCCS faces each challenge sets the tone.

We are currently working on constructing the Strategic Plan for 2018-21.  I have spent the past few months meeting with students, staff, parents and community members, listening to what their vision of CHCCS is and should be.  I’ve heard about all the wonderful things going on in classrooms across our district, areas where we need to work harder, as well as other places where we need to improve some things in which we’ve been failing.  Our up-coming Strategic Plan will set the tone for innovation and education that affects our 12,000 students and 2,300 educators.

How our students learn is as important as what they learn, which is why I challenged our educators to make this year about fun, taking risks, and encouragement.  As a superintendent, educator, parent and community member, I know when a classroom has these three things, everyone is learning.  Ideas are sparked, students retain their knowledge at a higher rate and teachers have a better understanding of their students and their craft - everything we want to happen – every day – in every classroom.

All of the challenges CHCCS faces over the next three years, thirteen years and thirty years will be overcome as long as we continue to address them as a community, as long as we encourage our staff and students, as long as we take a risk and have fun each day in our schools.

Maybe we could flip the way we look at what we are thankful for and reexamine how we look at challenges.  And be thankful for our challenges and what they teach us.