I had the opportunity to listen to some of our students this week talk about what makes our school district special. Without exception, they all said the same thing. You.
They talked about their teachers making them feel like school was more than just school. They talked about it being a community. They talked about it being a family. They talked about the connections they have with the adults in the building.
You show up. You go to their games. You go to their performances. You read their writing. They said it over and over again.
You engage with them. You ask how their lives are going. You ask about their family. You notice things about their friends. You engage with them on a personal level. They notice.
You push them. You encourage them to be more than they thought they could be. You challenge them to learn more, try more, do more than they thought they could. They appreciate that.
You care. Beyond whether or not they learn the facts, the information. You care about them as people. And they know it.
Our schools are a community. Together our district is a community. Our students said it beautifully. They recognize how much more than reading, writing, and math is happening in our buildings. And they appreciate it. They know what makes this district special. You.