August 28, 2010

Summer's hot, but fall's almost here

This might be the hottest summer I remember. Okay, it is the hottest summer I remember.

It also went really fast. I've said many times, summer was a blur.

Staff returned to school the other day for a "welcome back" breakfast and professional development training. It was my first opportunity to be the opening day speaker. And I felt like I had a good message.

I honored the retirees and welcomed the new staff members. Then I asked the staff to "think about something."

It is our job as educators to prepare children for WHATEVER they believe they want to do when they graduate.

If a student is going to go to college, it's our job to do everything we can to get them ready — to go above and beyond and ensure that he or she is ready to succeed in college.

If a student wants to be a farmer, then there's something we have to change early on.

"I'm just going to be a farmer, this class doesn't matter to me."

I hear that way too much, and have for years. Now, I have a chance to change the view on that.

We need farmers. We need tile setters. We need mechanics.

It matters what you're going to do. Every job matters.

But, if you're going to be "just a farmer," then we have some specialized work to do with and for you. We have to make sure you have the appropriate business math classes to ensure you're ready to handle the business side of your farm. You also need the right opportunities in English classes so you learn to write appropriate letters. It's important to get every child ready for whatever he/she is going to do.

Everyone matters. And every job is important.

Governor Jennifer Granholm has demanded that all kids be ready for college. I say, get them ready for what they're going to do in life. If they decide when they're 30 that college sounds like a good opportunity, then we can help them then. But, when they're getting ready to graduate, what's it take to make them successful at 18?

Summer has again given way to fall. School doors will open on the Tuesday after Labor Day. Summer's over. Welcome back!

I think Mom and Dad always said, "It's time to get back to the grind."

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