Welcome to the start of the 2017-2018 school year and the next step on our dynamic journeys as educators and lifelong learners. Together we deliver Equity and Excellenceto students and families in all corners of the City.
I know summer was a busy time for all of us. Professional learning workshops and sessions, career development opportunities, and personal commitments with family and friends filled our calendars. I hope you took time, as I do every summer, to rest, relax, and reconnect with what makes you a passionate and dedicated educator.
This summer, I was inspired by your commitment to professional learning and demonstration of your willingness to enhance your skills:
As you plan your year, it is important to prioritize your role in expanding parent and family engagement. Ask your school leaders and parent coordinators about resources for our September Parent-Teacher Conferences and learn more about your school community’s participation in The Family English Institute. (The Institute brought together over 100 parents of English language learners, caregivers and students to learn side-by-side this summer, and is growing this school year.)
I have always loved September because this month brings us a new beginning. September provides us with the opportunity to reinvent ourselves through commitment, reflection, and planning. Take a moment this month to pause and reflect on your best experience with your students last year. Next, pause and reflect on what you would change. Then, write yourself a note making a commitment to a) recreate that successful experience for your students this year not once, but again and again, and b) find strategies to handle situations like the one you would have changed. This practice reminds us that in teaching – like in learning – every year should lead to a better one. This ensures we are the best we can be for our students.
Finally, identify a time each week, an evening or over the weekend, where you can give your entire attention to your family and friends. It is amazing how much more energy we have when we bring balance into our lives.
As you prepare for the new school year, we’d love to see pictures of you, your staff, and your students and families as excitement builds! Join the online conversation using #BackToSchoolNYC. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share and RT our posts. Don’t forget to tag @NYCschools on your own posts!
And as we start the 2017-2018 school year I want to thank you in advance for the dedication and guidance you will give our 1.1 million students throughout the year. As teachers, you shape our students’ futures and the future of New York City for generations to come.