Save Your Best For Last

So for this final post of the 2012-13 school year I want to do three things……….I want to quickly thank you all, and celebrate the incredible work that you did for our students and for our community over the last ten months. I also want to send out a general caution and reminder about the importance of the final week of the year with our kids, and then finally, I want to wish you all a relaxing, happy, and re-energizing summer break. It’s hard for me to believe that we’re already at the end honestly……..it went by so quickly, and we accomplished so much as a team. Looking back and reflecting on the year that was makes me very proud however, and gives me an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction because I truly believe that we’ve taken some huge steps forward as a school, and more importantly, we’ve become better educators for our students.

This was a challenging year as you all know, and in many ways a year of positive change. We rolled out a few game changing initiatives that took us all some getting used to…………the new report card and engagement rubric, the electronic portfolios, and the in-house professional development SIPS just to name a few. All of this of course was on top of the successful lead up and completion of our WASC self study/accreditation that really validated so much of what we feel good about as a school. To come through the year so positively as a faculty is a true comment on your professionalism, your quality as educators, and your unwavering focus on the betterment of our students……saying thank you doesn’t come anywhere close to expressing the gratitude that I have for you all (and specifically for your effort and collective contributions) but please know that I feel honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with you this year……..I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and I’m excited about how we’ve set ourselves up for an even better year next year!

Before we all head off for a much deserved summer holiday though, I would like to ask that you make these final five days your best to date for our kids. We all have our sights set on Friday afternoon I know, but please remember that the final week of a school year is an incredibly emotional time for the students. As seasoned adults, we have learned over time how to deal with change, and sadness, and our emotions……..but even with that life experience it’s still hard to say goodbye and find closure with the year. Because international schools tend to be very transient environments, we have a large number of families who will be heading off to new adventures in a few days time, and this can be very, very difficult for the kids. Please keep a close eye on our beautiful students this week, and be patient with them as their emotions ramp up and get the best of them. I’m sure some of them will act a little out of character as they struggle to deal with all that they’re feeling, and they need your compassion, guidance, and mentorship this week more than ever…………. Kids remember the teacher that you are in June so save your best for last!

Have a wonderful summer everyone, and to those of you who are leaving us…..you’ll be missed terribly……all the best and good luck! To those of you returning or joining us next year, get ready for another amazing ride, as we take the next step toward becoming a great school. Thank you all for an incredible year, and for making this the best year of my professional life…….. and as always, remember to be great for our students and good to each other……..

Quote of the Week…………
What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace. — Ellen Goodman

Attachment – A Something in a Summer’s Day (Emily Dickinson) A something in a summer

TED Talk – The Happy Secret to Better Work (Shawn Achor)
http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html

About Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 
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