Dear KIBSD staff,
At a time when our country and community are becoming increasingly polarized, I want to thank you for standing in the gap for our students and families. Our collective thoughts, time, and energy have been consumed by the pandemic for so many months that it can be difficult to see beyond it. However, we know that this mode of crisis management, emergency response, and survival will come to an end. As it fades, we will be able to resume more of what feels normal while maintaining a continued focus on learning and meeting the needs of our students. Through this transition, we want to remain focused on what is best for kids and emerge united in our mission.
Meanwhile, I encourage us all to be mindful of what we model for students in the face of adversity and division. Let us continue to show them what it looks like to genuinely listen to each other, listening to understand rather than to respond. In our interactions, let us continue to demonstrate respect and unconditional positive regard, even when we hold differing points of view. We are reminded that our students are learning not just from our planned lessons but from our words, attitudes, and actions. As educators, I believe we continue to have more in common than not when it comes to students and a shared desire to help and support them.
Thank you for continuing to extend grace by listening and empathizing, and please remember to extend it to yourself as well through this difficult season.
Finally, with Thanksgiving approaching, I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for each of you and your commitment to students. I know that the hours spent working in schools each day reflects even more hours spent behind the scenes communicating, preparing, organizing, analyzing and even agonizing over your plans and students. You are responding to tremendous needs and challenges while keeping students at the center. Never has this been more challenging or more worthy an endeavor, and never have I been more appreciative for those on the front lines of education. I hope you take advantage of the upcoming holiday breaks to rest and recharge, connect with those you love, and do something that brings you joy.
With many thanks,