You’re Amazing, Thank you!

This is the last Two Cents for the 2013-14 School Year and, honestly, I’m very emotional writing this.  We have some of the most amazing and outstanding teachers I ever ever encountered and at it makes me a bit sad to know that we are heading off for the summer and not everyone will be coming back in the fall.  Those of you who are moving on to different places in the world, sabbaticals, or where ever you may go next…you’ll be missed around here!  I’ve been in four schools so far and I’ve never come close to having a staff that has been this tight, happy, and just a pleasure to be around.  Add all of that to the amazing educational minds that have managed to come together in this middle school and you’ve got one heck of an awesome group of middle school people.

The sign on my computer today is “Be Grateful” and it couldn’t have come at a better time, honestly.  I didn’t have anything particular in my mind when I made that sign this morning but now that I’ve gone through a couple hours of the day I feel like that is a message that more people in our community need to hear!  The time, effort, and emotion that you put into the kids at our school is incredible.  Unfortunately, I don’t think everyone involved really understands what you give for these kids on a daily basis…even those very kids who you work so hard to take care of aren’t aware of all the time and energy you have given to them.  Some of their parents aren’t even aware of what you do for their kids day in and day out.  So, here I am, I’m saying a HUGE ‘thank you’ from all of those kids who you pour blood, sweat, and tears for every single day!  And guess what, yup I’m going to do it even though they’re adults and should do it themselves…On behalf of all those parents too, ‘Thank you for taking such great care of my kid and giving over so much of your efforts to helping them become successful young adults!!!’

So I’m sad that this amazing team is losing some of it’s members and I’m grateful for all that you do for our kids but I’m also extremely happy and excited!  The experience of working with each and every one of you over these last few years has been absolutely amazing.  I can’t say enough about the tremendous work that has been done in this middle school the last few years and it was truly and honestly a 100% team effort.  The culture we’ve built here and the amazing work we’ve done with the curriculum, in no way, could’ve been done without your hard work and dedication!  Literally, there hasn’t been a day yet in this job where I didn’t want to come to work.  Sure there have been some days when I wished I could sleep a little longer but the prospect of coming to SCIS and seeing the amazing staff and students that we have has never once bothered me.  You are all inspiring educators and having the chance to work with you has been mind-blowing.

Now, all of that being said I am excited too.  I’m excited about the fact that, while we’re losing some people, we are still returning an amazing team of teachers next year.  The group that we have coming back includes a huge number of curriculum heads who have been crucial in driving our program forward, it includes grade level leaders, and it includes happy, hard-working teachers.  The end of this school year has been busier than any I’ve ever experienced…with all the parties and celebrations I can barely find a spare moment!  That speaks volumes about the connections and bonds that we’ve established at this school.  We enjoy working with our friends and we enjoy being friends with our colleagues, you can’t say that about too many work places in the world!

This has been a tremendous school year…let me finish by saying ‘thank you’, not from the kids or their parents but from me.  Thank you for all that you do for our kids.  Thank you for all that you do for your colleagues.  Thank you for being positive, supporting our students and each other, and thank you for being so awesome in general.  Dan and I often tell new families and people we interview that we have the best middle school in Shanghai; there is no doubt about that in my mind and just based on how awesome all of our teachers are, I would put us up against any middle school in the world!  Those are my two cents (more like 10 cents) for the last time this year…thank you for being so awesome and have a great summer 🙂

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