Dear East Middle Families,
I want to share with you a bit of a conversation I had today with our students. It is my firm belief that every dedicated adult at East Middle School has the call and responsibility to educate not only the minds, but the hearts of the students you entrust to us each day. I thank you in advance for believing in us and in our partnership. In the spirit of partnership, I share with all of you the highlights of my conversation with a group of our 7th grade students today.
The topic was empathy, respect, and how those virtues create a safe space for all at school. I shared with students my belief that empathy and respect are two of the most crucial characteristics we all need to continually develop if we are to make our world a better place. This is a challenge I frequently give to East Middle students with a firm faith that our kids will accomplish this. I was honest with students today that empathy is hard sometimes because of our personal privileges, experiences, and histories.
Here is why I took the time to visit some classrooms- Some students have entered into conversations and sharing of opinions around politics, religion, and other social issues while they are too young to have the skills to gracefully and respectfully navigate the emotions that can result. It was time for me to let students know that East Middle School is a place of inclusion, safety, and learning for every member of our beautifully diverse population. Every student has a role and a responsibility for creating this vision.
Here is what I ask of you. Talk with your kids and reinforce that every individual matters and deserves a respectful, emotionally and physically safe space to learn. Emphasize, as I did today, to advocate for themselves and their friends with respect and kindness. We have a strong system of reporting, coaching, and counseling in place for when students require redirection. And even when one of our kids makes a mistake, he or she deserves forgiveness and another chance to make things right. As your principal, I can assure you this thinking is in the forefront of all conversations about our school environment.
Yours in partnership,
Principal, East Middle School