being a teacher, being me, new year

Don’t Forget It’s About the Kids

The excitement is palpable.  The rush is on.  Meetings, freshly copied stacks of paper, and endless to-do lists lead to sleepless nights.  North America is headed back to school.  All around our country superintendents, principals, and keynotes speakers are getting ready to deliver words of wisdom, words to start the school year off right.  There is much to cover, much new to unveil, there always is, and yet, I have a plea for you.

Don’t forget to inspire.

Don’t forget to keep it about the kids.

That we are here faced with so many new things, but if we don’t love what we do, and if we don’t love those kids, then new initiatives don’t matter.  Then new ideas will not take off right.  Then a new vision will never take root.

Don’t forget that we have dreams too.  That numbers and data and stacks of information is important but so is the need to dream.  We want to be told that we matter, that our ideas matter, and that we are in it together.

You don’t have to speak for long.  You don’t have to say anything fancy.  But start out with the most important message of them all; we are here for the kids.  And then end with it too.  Sure, show us the data, share the new things, but the kids?  That’s where we need to focus.  Not the new, not the clever, not the vision even, but them.  They are the reason we are here.

H/T to my administration who did just that.

I am a passionate  teacher in Wisconsin, USA,  who has taught 4, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” can be pre-ordered from Corwin Press now.  Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Forget It’s About the Kids”

  1. I have an amazing and inspirational administrator who shares the “It’s all about the kids.” message with our K-5 team throughout the year! Along with those simple messages you mention she also hands out sayings such as, “They don’t care what you know until they know you care.” I have a file full of such messages and, along with posting them on my office walls, share them with the pre-service teachers I take under my wing. Yes initiatives, yes new learning, yes data, yes teamwork but always yes, “We are here for the kids.”
    I just pre-ordered your new book and have shared your first book with staff as we journey into the land of Personalized Learning. Thank you, Pernille!

  2. Administrators need to celebrate their teachers, creating ways staff can share good news about how they make a difference to each other and to students.

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