Today is our chance to connect, to make an impact, to start building a relationship that may turn them around on a course of success or feeling like they belong.
Some kids in our schools feel really alone, like nobody cares about them, believes in them, notices them or maybe even knows their name.
Some kids didn't have breakfast this morning, or dinner last night - take this into consideration when they're grumpy at school in the morning.
Some kids don't have anyone at home that really cares about them, or talks to them, or shows any interest - take that into consideration when they're really excited to tell you about their latest project, maybe you can listen a little longer than normal and ask a few more questions!
Some kids didn't do their homework last night because they didn't have a pencil, they live in their car, their parents are away on business trips and the nanny isn't very nice to them, they don't want to re-copy the spelling test words three times and do a word search because that holds zero excitement for them, they want to be excited about their learning.
Some kids just need a high five, a hug, a hello, a bump, a handshake, for you to call them by name,
For some kids success won't just happen, they won't just get lucky, they won't just go to college, they won't just build confidence in themselves, they won't just break the cycle their entire family has been in - they need us to help them along the way!
When I was a Principal it was very important to me that I knew every students name at my school. There were times when I'd call a student by name at lunch or even in class and this glow would come over them.
"Mr. Welcome, you know my name!"
"Of course I know your name!"
"Oh my gosh, I didn't think you did."
From then on the attitude of that student changed, their glow was brighter, they walked taller, they worked harder, they smiled more - some kids need that in their lives to feel special.
Shame on me as the Principal of a school that I didn't let them know.
Some kids need us more than others. Some kids need us in ways that have nothing to do with curriculum. Some kids need extra chances, multiple times - throughout the day. Some kids just want a smile, a hello, a friendly face they find comforting. Some kids need to be pushed, cajoled, inspired, held accountable and then congratulated on their efforts.
Please celebrate our kids! Please celebrate all kids. Not just some kids - ALL kids, they deserve it!
Two of my favorite Kids Deserve It messages are below - please think about them as we begin to start another school year - you got this!