Monday, August 24, 2015

Welcome 2015-2016 School Year!

Your TEPSA Staff is ready for a new school year!
I miss the first day of school! When I left the principalship after 33 years in education for TEPSA, it was understood that there would be some moments when I greatly missed being in a school. But, does it have to happen every year? The adage that 'you don't know what you have until it's gone' must be true.
Today, you are in the midst of welcoming students to your school, making last minute schedule adjustments, meeting with parents and students and teachers, calming the fears of those youngest students, walking the halls, ignoring central office, monitoring classes and lunch, sending kids back home after a busy day, and meeting with your staff to see how the school day went. Whew! How can one miss that?
Today, you made a difference in the lives of children. That may sound trite, but it is absolutely true. How many of you met with parents to discuss a traumatic event one of you students experienced over the summer months? Kids in your school are experiencing family breakups, maybe one of their parents have died or been diagnosed with a terminal illness, maybe a parent has been incarcerated, one or both could be deployed by the military, even a child could have been diagnosed with a severe illness. You might have children who have moved from their childhood homes. You may have some who are refugees far from their native lands. And, some children have no particularly stressful situation but need a hug as well! There are so many ways in which you counsel and love children who need you most.
All of us at TEPSA are thinking of you this week and throughout the year. We hope and pray that your year is one in which you help the children, their parents, your faculty and staff reach their full potential...and that you reach yours as well.
We are anxious to hear how the start of your school year went. Let us know your stories.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"Make Time for Children."
2015-2016 President Eddie Damian's emphasis for the year, "Make Time for Children," seems most appropriate to elementary school leaders. Elementary principals and assistant principals are dedicated to making time for the children in their care. They also pay attention to the needs of parents and to the teachers and staff of the schools they lead. Many of you also are active in your place of worship and in the community in which you live.
I hope you also have an attitude of gratitude this year. I recently read an article that stated that people who are grateful live happier, healthier, longer lives. Makes sense doesn't it? Are you grateful for what you have in your life?
My list of gratitude includes:
  • My faith, as I feel that I am on this earth to make a difference. I gain strength through my faith.
  • My wife and children, even though they often received less than my best after days which were filled with me giving my all for children other than my own.
  • My career; how can there be a better career than that of elementary school principal? We truly touch lives each and everyday, at school and in the community.
  • The students in the schools in which I served. Doesn't it gladden your heart when former students, some who now have their own kids in your school, thank you for making a difference in their lives.
  • The parents whose children I have served; I know, there are a few who made things difficult, but most are wonderful people and many are lifelong friends.
  • My school district and community; think about what people throughout your school district and community feel toward you and you to them. I would wager that the positives far outweigh the negatives.
  • TEPSA and the many colleagues who I learn from, lean on, and now consider friends.
  • The staff at TEPSA! Working with these folks dedicated to making life better and easier for principals, assistant principals, supervisors and the children you serve has been very gratifying for me.
Take time to be grateful, you'll be healthier, less stressed and ready to "Make Time for Children."