Encouragement at School

Kid #5 is transferring from a fabulous charter school to the local middle school this fall. She has been in the carpool since she was 5 months old, riding along as older siblings were dropped off and picked up.  She has been a student for K through 7th grade. She was ready for a change and so were we, So, we made a decision I would not have imagined a few years ago. When we chose a K-12 school it seemed so logical to think the kids would be there all 13 years. If only life was that efficient. Schools change and so did our family.

This morning was “Back to school” day at her new school. That means come to school —find out about extra curricular activities, get your picture taken, buy a gym uniform and a planner, watch the “How to be Responsible with your iPad” video and sign the form that you understand said video, sign up for the lunch program, find the locker, test out the combination, and walk around the school – in class order to be sure all classrooms can be found, etc.

As we were zig zagging through the halls I noticed this sign.


My first thought is how does this fit with my 7 principles of encouragement.

  1. Encouragement is good. I am glad the school wants to be encouraging. It means they care and that is good.
  2. Aware. They are aware that the giver and the receiver need to work together for said results. They are aware of wanting specific results.  (They seem to be assuming that the parties involved have high expectations for personal and academic achievement and challenging coursework.)
  3. Just because it is possible, does not mean it should happen. In this case individual growth and collective success is good for everyone.
  4. Good for you does not mean good for me.  In this case education is good for the individual, for the school, for the family and the community. It is good for all.
  5. Possibility is necessary. Yes possibility is possible. In the normal course of maturing from grade to grade we know growth is possible. I am trusting that in special circumstances the special needs will be addressed.
  6. Words of encouragement are timeless. School is a place to learn, but also for seeds to be planted.
  7. Encouragement takes courage. Students who are entering into challenging coursework will need to dig deep sometimes. Ideas may not appear as easily as they did in elementary school.

I do wonder who the “we” in We Encourage represents. Is it the student and the school? Is it the reader of the sign (community member) and the school? Is it the parents with the school, and the students?

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