In this, our last week in advance for the 21-22 school year and my last principal’s message at Woodland, there’s one final observation I’d like to share with you. There’s something interesting I’ve noticed about you middle school parents over the last four years. And yes, you might be wondering what direction this is going. But in many ways, I think your example is a powerful lesson for us all.
As you may know, the front door has been my “post” every morning during my time at Woodland. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way. In almost 20 years in education, I’ve found no more successful way to build relationships and culture than greeting people individually on a consistent basis. Whether it’s the classroom door at Ravenwood, the bus line at Centennial, or the front door at Woodland.
But you middle school parents, especially those of you in the car line, you aren’t fooling anyone. I see you. Oh they never look back, so you’re not going to get caught, but I see you. Whether the drop off happens with fist bump, a “love you,” a hug or a kiss, or even an awkward silence before the door shuts, I know what happens next. Every single time.
One last look.
I can imagine all the things you must be wondering. The most precious thing in the world to you is heading into an environment that belongs to them and not you. Will they have a friend to walk in with? What kind of a day will they have? How will they respond to success or adversity? Who will they sit with at lunch? And who are they on the other side of those doors?
My hope is that during the last four years, you’ve looked back with pride and confidence that your child was walking into a safe, supportive, positive, and encouraging environment that always put students first. And that it will continue to be that kind of place for years to come. Eventually, we will all leave Woodland for the last time, whether it’s this week for some of us, later this summer for others, or in the years to come. When that time comes, please continue to take one last look and reflect on what a special place this is. Thank you for allowing me to share in this special time in the lives of your children.